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Bt PALI. i. \\m-:kson 
illustrations and $5 diagrams. 8vo. $2.50 net 

"A book that should be in the hands of « -very 
photographer interested in the pictorial aspect of the 
work. While Mr. Anderson has a krcn appreciation <>f 
the pictorial possibilities of photography, he has a clear 
of the scientific principles upon which the worker 
if success is to be achieved. The 

book b aa eutp t hgi afly informative one while still being 
m.»t readable and enjoyable " 

"Especially adapted to t 
who without wishing to \ 
•cicntifc phase of the art. 

—Camera Craft. 

the needs of those workers 

undertake a study of the 

have passed beyond the 

and are seeking through this medium 

—American Magazine or Art. 















IT. 1010. »T ». ». UrriHCWTT COMrANY 


uirrmo »t i. ». urri*<xrrr cowawy 


miLAOstmiA, c. » *. 



In " Pictorial Photography, Its Principles 
and Practice " the author endeavored to pro- 
duce a textbook which should furnish technical 
information to those camera workers who de- 
sire to express artistic impulses, thus enabling 
them to choose the best medium for any par- 
ticular purpose, and to become skilled in its 
use ; but the aim of the present work is, on the 
other hand, to supplement the earlier book by 
pointing out the underlying principles of art 
insofar as they can be applied to photography, 
and to encourage the student of the subject to 
apply these principles in his own work. 

Necessarily this book must differ in a meas- 
ure from the former one as regards plan, since 
technique, which is entirely scientific, can be a 
matter of rule, whereas an artistic impulse, 
being purely of the mind and dealing with 
intangible things, cannot be reduced to a for- 
mula. Photography is unique among the 
graphic arts in that it is absolutely imperative 
that scientific knowledge and artistic feeling 


go hand-in-hand to the production of a fine 
lit; and, though iriffltiflc knowledge may 
be acquired by rote, artistic feeling 1 must result 
n, from meditation, from the 
use of the logical faculties, and above all from 
exercise of the imagination. It has been 
author's endeavor to present the conclu- 
sions, reached through many years of study, in 
such I manner that the reader may be stiinu- 
1 to apply his mental powers to the task of 
Qg and thinking for himself, since only thus 
can lasting and valuable works of art be pro- 
duced, and only thus can photography take 
its rightful lofty place among the fine arts. 
Then is ID this country a widespread prcdi- 

n in farorof what may be kenned tabloid 

or predigested information, this predilection 
arising from an unfortunate belief that one 
who has memorized a large number of facts is 
ipso facto educated The author cannot too 
ugly impress upon the reader the fact that 
this belief is utterly rrnnicdiis; true education 
comes only from observation and logical cor- 
relation of the observed phenomena. There 
are n<> rules in art. 



The author's thanks are due to Mr. Henry 
R. Poore, for permission to make use of the 
conclusions set forth by him in his exceedingly 
valuable work, " Pictorial Composition and 
the Critical Judgment of Pictures " ; to Mr. 
Bertrand H. Went worth for the admirable 
discussion of marine photography given in 
Chapter IX; and to the photographers who 
have so kindly furnished the prints which have 
been used to illustrate the text and to embel- 
lish the book, but especially to Mr. Eilers, 
whose " Summer Landscape " has been used 
without permission, the author having been 
unable to get in touch with this artist. 

In view of the conditions existing at the time 
of writing, and in order to forestall any pos- 
sible criticism by patriotic reviewers or readers, 
it seems well to state that, although there are 
several German-sounding names included in 
the list of artists who have furnished illustra- 
tions for this work, none of these photog- 
raphers is in fact German. The writer is not 
altogether in sympathy with the idea of con- 
demning indiscriminately all members of a 
nation because that nation has shown itself, 



qqIIi incapahle of appreciating the 

higher ideals which inimate the civilized peo- 
ples, any morr than he is prepared to oondemn 
a family because Mtpe member of that, family 
has proved a criminal ; Init the fad remains that 
written for American ind English 
readers and that the German attitude of mind 
is such that it would be difficult to find illustra- 
tions from the work of German photographers 
which would he of interest or value to the read- 
ers to whom the author wishes to appeal. The 
bearers of German names whose pictures arc- 
here reproduced are actually either Amei 
owlish by birth and sympathy. 

1\ I, A. 

ORANGE, N. J., 1910. 



I. Introductory 15 

II. Composition 32 

III. Values 71 

IV. Suggestion and Mystery 90 

V. Landscape Work 101 

VI. Winter Work 127 

VII. Landscape with Figures; Figures in 

Landscape; Genre; Illustration . . 143 

VIII. Architectural Work 177 

IX. Marine Work 195 

X. Motion-Picture Work 211 

XL Portraiture 232 

XII. The Philosophy of the Hand Camera . . 292 

XIII. Conclusion 304 



Portrait of Elizabeth Hammacher (in color) 

Paul L. Anderson. Frontispiece 
Portrait of My Mother 18 

Paul L. Anderson. 
Illustration for a Story 30 

Lejaren a Hiller. 
Mist in the Valley 42 

A Hillside Pasture 56 

W. E. Macnaughtan. 
The Woods of Colonos 68 

H. Y. Summons. 
A Summer Landscape 80 

Bern F. Eilers. 
Evening Breezes 92 

J. S. Fowler. 
A Country Road 106 

Hassim Seeks the Genie of the Rocks 118 

W. G. Fitz. 
Finis 130 

Annie W. Brigman. 
Blind Man's Buff 142 

Clarence H. White. 



The IUi 156 

Gertrude Klsebier. 
The Preludk 168 

Laura Gilpin. 
Meissen 180 

Karl Struss. 


Paul L Anders..- 
Easterly Wea tn 206 

ran. I II VVentworth. 
\ M \DOW. . . 

mores.. MO 

Anon Vli : 
PORTK Ml | D \ 1 1 1 1 1 1 V 242 

Paul L Anderson. 
The Bin i 256 

Portrait 270 

Catherine Collier 

Paul L. Anderson. 

or Mrs. George B. Holush h 294 

Pan! L Anderson. 

ui.HiiAH . 306 

II V. SQmmons. 


There are almost as many definitions of the 
phrase " fine art " as there are writers on the 
subject, one author even maintaining that any 
beautiful object produced by man is a work of 
fine art, a definition which would obviously 
include Oriental rugs, automobiles, grand 
pianos and repeating rifles; but the definition 
which the present author prefers, and on which 
the discussion in the following pages is based, 
is as follows : A fine art is any medium of ex- 
pression which permits one person to convey to 
another an abstract idea of a lofty or ennobling 
character, or to arouse in another a lofty emo- 
tion. It will be seen that this includes dancing, 
music, prose writing, poetry, architecture and 
the various graphic and glyptic arts, though it 
is sometimes impossible to draw an accurate 



dividing line between fine art and craftsman- 
ship. For example, Michelangelo's David 
and Donatello's Gattamclaia are unquestion- 
ably fine art, and the typical figure of an 
ian, used as a tobacconist's sign, is not, 
but it is not possible to say just where the two 
expressions merge. Tin- Indian may can 
glimmering of an abstract idea, and to that 
extent may possess some of the elements of 
fine art. On the other hand, the most exquisite 
craftsmanship, if ignobly used, may excite our 
interest and admiration, but can never prove 
stimulating. It is not meant to imply that art 
must necessarily be didactic; there may be as 
much moral stimulus in a simple nicture of sun- 
light QB WSler as in tbfl most elaborate sermon. 
but the writer does not feci that pictures which 
are degrading or are merely indifferent 
justly claim the title. " fine art." 

The writer would not, however, be nod 
stood as adhering to the idea, sometimes ad- 
vanced, that a dissolute individual cannot be 
a great artist, and that in order to accomplish 
fine things in art the worker must be of a re- 
ligious turn of mind. History shows dearly 



that a libertine may produce works which fulfil 
all the requirements of the highest art, though 
it may be doubted if such a one can continue 
the production of great works for a long period. 
To be a great artist one must be in full posses- 
sion of all his faculties, and his senses must be 
at their highest pitch of development and recep- 
tivity, whereas a dissolute life tends to blunt 
the senses and to lower the efficiency of the 
worker, so it seems unlikely that a man could 
continue a life of debauchery and at the same 
time produce fine works for a long period of 
years. This, however, is a purely physical mat- 
ter, and has nothing whatever to do with the 
individual's power of conceiving lofty ideas. 

There has for many years been current a 
popular belief that the artist must necessarily 
be more or less neurotic and morally loose, this 
impression arising from the fact that artists, 
working, as they do, largely under emotional 
tension, have sought relief and relaxation in 
drinking and other forms of vice. Within re- 
cent years, however, artists have come to realize 
that equal relaxation — and that of a beneficial 
sort — may be obtained through physical exer- 

2 17 



CISC, and that this form of recreation not only 
accomplishes the letting down of the nervous 
strain, hut I res up energy to permit of 

continuing work longer than would other'. 

)>< tlx '•;:., . so that the author confidently looks 
for a change in the popular estimate of the ar- 

and believes that within a few more years 
painters, sculptors, musicians, and other work- 
in the fine arts will come to he regarded as 
an exceptionally healthy and athletic class. 

At present there is an inclination among 
artists of all kinds, but especially among pho- 
tographers, to consider any pic tun which is 
well arrange ling in its tone- qualities, and 

of an agreeahle texture — in other words, which 
is esthetic-ally gratifying- as artistically com- 
plete and satisfactory, but the writer cannot 
agree with this. Such pictures arc simply ma- 

B work, and, though a machine may 1>< \ cry 
beautiful, and the product of a machine as well, 

mains always a machine product, and un- 
less informed by genius a picture, whether done 

and or by photography, cannot rise to the 

1 of art hut must he called craftsmanship. 
A straight photograph, that is, one in which 



From a Gum-Platinum Print 


the worker has not altered either outlines or 
values, is inevitably a machine product, a record 
of fact, lovely though it may be, and as such 
cannot be classed with work in which the artist 
has expressed, by various artifices, the soul that 
lines behind the material aspect. It is com- 
monly asserted that Nature is rarely pictorial, 
and that for this reason the artist must exercise 
selection, but it would probably be nearer the 
truth to say that Nature is almost always pic- 
torial — that almost any scene would make a 
picture if reproduced exactly as it is — and that 
the failure to render commonplace things in 
such a manner as to make them impressive is 
not due to a lack of pictorial quality in the 
things themselves but to our inability to repro- 
duce them as they exist. 

There are many who will question this. The 
average man, going about the affairs of his 
daily life with his eyes closed to all but his cus- 
tomary round, and the artist, trained to view 
everything with reference to the possibility of 
translating it into a picture, alike will doubt 
what has been said ; but if anyone will consider 
a scene, it matters little what it may be, taking 



into account tlu- color, the ine, kbe fad that it 
has depth instead of being a representation on 
a flat plane, the motion, the light in which it is 
bathed, and, more than all rise, the cosmic 
forces which haw entered into its making, he 
will Me that there are few things which, consid- 
all th( nts. lack the power of stim- 

ulating one emotion or another in the spectator. 
These factors, however, are lost in the picture, 
and their loss must be made up in some other 
manner, so the artist resorts to composition, to 
the selection of a specific lighting, and to modifi- 
cation! of the values to accomplish, by artifice, 
what it is beyond his power to secure directly. 
The writer is well aware that these opinions will 
be hotly contested and widely disapproved — in 

. there was a time when he himself would 

6 contested such statements — 'but he has 
seen many photographs, has studied the art 

nshrdy, and believes that he is within the 
truth, though he would not be understood as 
fanying that a straight photograph may be 
very beautiful. 

It follows that it is the writer's belief that 
straight photography must be classed as the 


lowest of the fine arts, if, indeed, it can claim 
admission to their company at all. Fortu- 
nately, however, the photographer is not limited 
to records of fact, but, as will be seen later, is 
as free to express his artistic impulses as the 
worker in etching, lithography or any other 
monochromatic medium. 

Assuming that the worker can modify at 
will the outlines and values — especially the lat- 
ter — of his subject, it then remains to consider 
what may be the status of photography among 
the arts, and the writer believes that it will be 
found to be high. Since every fine art must be 
capable of conveying an idea or stimulating an 
emotion, it follows that it must possess some 
intellectual quality, for the term " emotion " 
implies this. It is here that the Futurists, 
Cubists and other modern painters fail, for, dis- 
carding form, they can no longer claim any in- 
tellectual quality for their art, which becomes 
merely sensuous. Every medium of expression, 
then, must possess both intellectual and sensu- 
ous qualities, though these may be combined in 
widely varying proportions. Thus, dancing 

and music are almost entirely devoid of any 



intellectual Appeal, being almost purely ienr 

suous, as might be < 1 from the Tact that 

lie the oldest and most primitive of the 

. races which are totally lacking j n even the 
rudimentary graphic impulses which charac- 
terized paleolithic and neolithic men having 
nevertheless primitive dances and songs as well 
as primitive musical instruments, which, how- 
Cver, depend mainly on a sense of rhythm. Next 
in the ascending scale comes poetry, which in its 
elementary form is chiefly sensuous hut gradu- 
ally develops the intellectual side until we find 
modern poetry, as practised to-day, often 
nearly if not quite free from any appeal to the 
senses. The next step gives prose writing, 
which may comhinc the intellectual and the 
s< nsuous in almost any degree, though ah 
remaining sensuously inferior to ancient pa 
Painting and sculpture are ahout on a par with 

e writing, though sculpture, lacking color, 
possibly has less of the sensuous quality than 

painting, though this is somewhat doubtful, the 
. being made up in other ways. The mono- 
chrome arts, depending entirely on form, are 
e intellectual than painting, and architee- 


ture is probably the highest development of all, 
for the expression in this case is largely mono- 
chromatic — or at all events concerns itself less 
with color than does painting — depends almost 
altogether on form, and is on a large, often a 
gigantic, scale. Since, then, the intellectual 
value of a fine art is based on its use of form 
rather than color, and on the possibility of 
voluntary modification by the artist of natural 
appearance, it follows that photography is in- 
ferior to architecture in two particulars only — 
the scale, and the fact that photographs have 
but two dimensions, these two points of inferi- 
ority being common to all graphic arts. This 
conclusion is based on the assumption that the 
worker is privileged to modify form and color 
at will, and those photographers who are in- 
sistent on straight photography will refuse to 
admit this, but those who desire to produce pic- 
tures — to call forth an emotional response — 
will not care whether their methods are called 
legitimate or not; they will look only to the 
result, and the writer, as has been said, believes 
that in such hands the camera will eventually 
prove its right to a high place among the medi- 



unis of ezpn moo, higher, in fact, than we now 
have any idea of, or ean foresee. 

Tlie author, In does not mean to imply 

that photography is necessarily and inevitably 
higher in the intelh ctual BCak tlian painting, 

for tlu- painter ran, if lie so desires, reduo 
palette to monochrome and give his entire at- 
tention to form, or the eamera worker can make 
use of the various processes of color photog- 
raphy, while, on the other hand, form may he 
n treated as to be almost altogether sensuous 

in its appeal. The discussion refers simply to 
the general tendencies of the different forms of 
art expression in normal eiremnstanees. 

It is impotable tO place any definite limit to 

the emotions expn -ssihle by photography, for 
include practically if not absolutely all 

that can l»c expressed by any grapfak medium, 
and, further, if we should say that such and 
Mich an | -motion was beyond the range of the 
Camera KHneone would shortly come forward 
with a print doin.LC just what was declared to 
be impossihlc. The writer mnenih. in I story 
bold him years IgO by the trainer of the college 
track team, to the effect that shortly after the 



record for the hundred-yard dash was lowered 
to ten seconds some mathematician demon- 
strated, by a complicated calculation of inertia, 
wind resistance and possible delivery of horse- 
power, that it was impossible for anyone to run 
the distance in less than ten seconds. Some time 
after, the record was lowered to nine and four- 
fifths. This story may or may not be true, but 
at all events it illustrates the tendency of men 
to accomplish the impossible. 

For this reason the writer will content him- 
self with the statement that it is within the 
power of photography to express and to stimu- 
late such emotions as joy, calm, peace, hope, 
anger, horror, and the like. Terror is difficult 
to stimulate graphically, though, of course, it 
may be represented, and reverence is probably 
beyond the capacity of the camera ; it demands 
a larger picture space than the camera can 
readily afford, and is, in the main, beyond the 
power of any graphic art. It must be under- 
stood that there is a great difference between 
the expression of any emotion and the stimula- 
tion of the same emotion. The former means 
simply that it is evident that the actors in the 



picture feel the emotion in question, ami it is 
much easier to cause this to be seen than it is 
to arouse the same feeling in th tor; the 

difference is the same as in writing, where it is 
a matter of no difficulty to say that a person 
did so and so, hut is far from easy to give tin 
reader a mental picture of the actor perform- 
ing the act. It is in the latter function that 
art lies, and if on reading a story or looking 
at a picture the reader or the observer finds him- 
self unconsciously and involuntarily taking the 
place of one of the actors and mentally follow- 
ing the course of the action in his own person, 
he may be sure that he is in the presence of a 
work of art. 

It follows from this that the appreciation of 
a work of art demands a certain mental level 
in the person before whom it is placed. There 

are many individuals who would follow with 
the most intense interest the adventures of 
Buffalo Hill hut would get nothing of stimulus 
from the fact that Machcth could not say 
"Amen" when tin sleepy groom cried God 
bless us!" And though the writer was once, 
when traveling by rail, carried past his station 


in his absorption in Defoe's " Captain S ingle- 
ton,' ' this does not mean that there are not 
many who would find that book dull in the 
extreme. So any work of art must be adapted 
to those who are to view it. Necessarily, how- 
ever, the artist cannot altogether choose his 
audience — unless his works are privately circu- 
lated — and it remains only for him to do the 
best that is in him, secure in the confidence that 
if his work is sincere it will find, among many 
who are indifferent and some who are hostile, 
true appreciators, who will see his purpose and 
be benefitted by his expression. The writer 
recently saw a criticism of a certain well-known 
picture, on the ground that it was mawkishly 
sentimental; but though the criticism was per- 
fectly justified from the point of view of the 
critic (and, in fact, of the present writer as 
well) the objection seems of little consequence, 
for the critic apparently forgot that there are 
many persons to whom this painting would 
carry a very decided message, since their per- 
ceptions and sensibilities are not so highly de- 
veloped as those of the one who objected to the 
sentimental character of the artist's conception. 



cannot Nfl up an arbitrary standard of 
criticism and say that every work must measure 
up to it; the work must be adapted to the men- 
tality of the observer it' it is to have any ! 

1 effect on him, and what oik man admires 
will be meaningless to one of less development 
and cultivation, or banal to another of still liner 
perceptions, so that what appeared to the critic 
in questional " mawkishly sentimental n might 
easily prove stimulating to the higher emotions 
of one in a lower stage of racial development. 
His well to make our standards as high as pos- 
sible, but we must not condemn one whose ideals 
are perforce lower than our own, provided only 
he makes a sincere effort to live up to the high- 
est conception he is capable of appreciating. In 
art, as in morality and ethics, there is a marked 
tendency in the average person to judge all 
others by his own standards. This is not jus! ; 
before judging another wc must realise fully 
the motives and ideals hehind his aets, for only 

t bus can genuine and equitable criticism result 

To sum Up, then, the writer's conclusion is 
that straight photography — that is, the making 
of an uncontrolled print from a negative which 



has not been modified by hand — can but be re- 
garded as craftsmanship, or at best virtuosity, 
but it may be added that there are few photog- 
raphers calling themselves artists who adhere 
to this technique, and the most curious confusion 
seems to exist in the minds of camera users as 
to what is legitimate and what is not. For ex- 
ample, the writer knows one man who vehe- 
mently insists on the impropriety of using a 
pencil on the negative, but does not hesitate to 
sun down portions of the print while it is in the 
printing-frame, and there are others who are 
equally irrational in their attitude, some refus- 
ing to work on the negative with pencil, but 
eagerly working over a gum print with a brush. 
The logical conclusion, of course, is that if 
straight photography is to be insisted on, all 
plates must be developed alike — for modifica- 
tions in development are control — and that all 
prints are to be made in precisely the same man- 
ner, but the camera user who should follow out 
this idea would soon find himself reduced to 
practice a " base mechanic art " devoid of any 
interest beyond that which attaches to mechan- 
ical precision of any kind. 



It intended to imply that the 

photographer should always modify the results 
'i by his 1< ns and plate, for it may happen 
that | direct photograph in which selection and 
manipulative skill are exercised will have all 
suggestive power of the most carefully 
worked-out Structure; but it is rare that this 
occurs, and the artist should always be pr< - 
pared to modify cither the print or the negative 
in order to secure the desired effect, bearing 
ever in mind that too much modification may 
be worse than none at all. " Mais VOUi i'lah<>rc\ 

irop;<lc (jnhr. //'// Umchexphu 

The writer has stated elsewhere I his belief 
that the hest printing medium is that which 

allows the greatest freedom of personal 

nOD, and pursuant to this belief he lias. 
after many years of experiment with literally 
all the available mediums, discarded all the 
others in favor of oil sad more especially brom- 

e>il, but it does not follow that he ad I 

to do likewise, for it may be that 
others will find their freest expression in gum. 

• ' ! .»t.. K ra|.!,y. lis Principle and V I hap- 





From a Bromide Print 

Reprinted from the Saturday Evening 

Pod, of Philadelphia. Copyright, 1917, 

by the Curtis Publishing Company 


carbon, platinum or bromide, performing neces- 
sary modifications on the negative. He does, 
however, mean to insist that a photograph can- 
not rank as a work of art unless it carries some 
suggestion of a lofty emotion, and he believes 
that this result is rarely attained without the 
intervention of the artist himself through some 
hand work on either plate or print, the advan- 
tage of working on the plate being that the pos- 
sibility of duplicating results is thereby made 
easy, whereas such duplication is extremely dif- 
ficult when the modifications are the result of 
brush work on the print. The writer seldom 
wishes to repeat a success, and this factor is 
consequently of little importance to him, but 
it should be taken into account by each worker 
in selecting a printing medium. It must, how- 
ever, be borne in mind that an evident mixture 
of mediums is a hybrid and an abomination, 
and the effort of some workers to produce 
photographs resembling in texture or quality 
the effects of pencil or charcoal drawing, etch- 
ing or lithography, are foredoomed to failure ; 
art is above all else sincere. 



Any picture, to be satisfying, must have I 
principal object or idea, to w 1 all cK 
subordinated, and to whi all the other com- 
ponents of the picture contribute, by contrast, 
by suggestion, or by explanation. A well- 
known artist has said: " There is only one rule 
in art — ' Th slialt not paint two pictures Oil 
one canvas, 5 .aid this is no more than Baying 
that there must be but one main idea, with 
which the supporting objects is! not com- 
pete. It is perhaps safe to go a lit tic farther 
than this and say that the minor objects in the 
picture not only must not compete with the 
chief object, but that they must actually sup- 
port it. for no part of the picture can be merely 
indifferent, because what is not helpful is 
positively harmful. 

It has been shown that the artist, because 
of the limitations of his medium, must resort 
to artifice instead of endeavoring to represent! 



natural objects as they appear (something that 
can never be accomplished) ; and the first and 
most important of his artifices is composition, 
the purpose of which is simply to arrange the 
various elements entering into the picture in 
such a manner that the necessary emphasis on 
the principal object is secured, that any requi- 
site explanation is given, and that the resulting 
pattern may be pleasing to the eye — that is, in 
accordance with what racial education has 
taught us to consider graceful. It might be 
thought that one of these purposes would neces- 
sarily involve the other, but such is not the case ; 
it is quite possible to have an agreeable pattern 
which carries no "emphasis, and it is equally 
possible — though less probable — to have a pat- 
tern which aids the chief thought but is not in- 
herently pleasing. Good composition fulfils 
both requirements and may be likened to a good 
foundation for a building. Many a picture, 
otherwise of no great merit, is successful by 
reason of good composition, and many a pic- 
ture which is fine in other ways fails because 
the composition has not been carefully thought 

out. Often a very slight change in the arrange- 
3 33 


me nt of light and shade is siillicient to turn I 
failure into a success, but one occasionally en- 
counters what the Krciu-h call a sujet iiujrnt — 
a thankless subject — and then it 1 ) eci >mes neces- 
sary to reconstruct the- entire picture. An ex- 
cellent test of good pattern (though not 
necessarily of sound composition) is to invert 
the picture and view it upside down, for by this 
means the subject-matter is lost sight of and 
only the- pattern remains. Of course, this does 
not show whether or not the minor objects 
properly support the central thought, hut if the 
pattern is agreeable and balance 9 about both the 
vertical and the horizontal axes — that is, if the 
interest is suitably distributed over the picture 
space — so much is gained, and the rest of the 
problem ifl amplified 

In view of the present widespread inta 
in Japanese art, it may be well to call attention 
to the fundamental difference between eastern 
and western theories of composition. The 
occidental artist holds that the entire- picture 
should be filled in such a manner that the- 
eye progresses in orderly sequence from one 
object of interest to another until the whole 



area has been seen and each line or mass has 
received its due and proper amount of atten- 
tion. This does not mean that the space should 
be filled with detail, for a gradation of light is 
often sufficient, but it does imply that there 
should be no empty spaces. The Oriental ar- 
tist, on the other hand, holds that this is not 
necessary and that blank areas are acceptable 
portions of the picture space. 

It must not be understood that either the 
Eastern or the Western artist invariably works 
in the fashion indicated, but merely that these 
are the general characteristics of the two 
schools. Neither does the writer claim that 
either method is better than the other; it de- 
pends on what it is desired to express as well 
as on the degree of education of the spectator, 
but it may be said that the Japanese idea is 
characteristic of a more advanced and refined 
stage of racial development, which concerns 
itself more with the manner of expression than 
with the subject matter, whereas the Western 
idea is that of a younger, more robust civiliza- 
tion, which holds the thing expressed to be of 
more consequence than an exquisitely fastidious 



mode of expression. A precise analogy to this 
Stele of affaiH is found in poetry. Modern 
poetry is based on the idea that a rhythmic and 
beautiful description of a beautiful thing con- 
stitutes fine poetry, whereas the older poets ad- 
hered to a formal mode of expression and 
insisted on the need of a more or less abstract 
and lofty thought as a motive. Ethnologists 
have pointed out that a strong and active 
imagination is characteristic of a relatively un- 
developed mind — i.e., that of a child or a sav- 
age — and that, as the imaginative powers de- 
cline with the development of the race, their 
place is more and more supplied (in art, at 
least) by refinement of expression; but the 
imaginative powers are at the present time so 
active in other realms (in science, for instance, 
where imagination is as necessary as in art) that 
the writer finds it difficult to hclieve that they 
have definitely disappeared from the realm of 
art. The human being depends on three mental 
faculties ; memory, imagination and logic, which 
developed in the order given, with tin de- 
velopment of the race; and it seems that the loss 
or atrophy of any one of these faculties would 


necessarily result in arresting the progress of 
evolution, which is an unthinkable state of af- 
fairs. For this reason it is the writer's belief 
that the present tendency toward refinement 
and sestheticism, to the exclusion of imagina- 
tion, is merely a passing phase and that the 
future will see a return to a more vigorous 
and robust art, with the added power given by 
the elaborate and exhaustive study of its 
methods of expression. 

One factor which unquestionably operates 
to encourage sestheticism is that it is unfortu- 
nately the custom among present-day educators 
to repress and restrain the imaginative powers 
manifested by their pupils, rather than to direct 
and guide their development. As a natural 
consequence of this unfortunate attitude, the 
average adult is sorely lacking in imagination ; 
and, finding it easier to cultivate an apprecia- 
tion of, and an enthusiasm for, refinement of 
expression than to reinvigorate the atrophied 
faculty of imagination, concentrates his atten- 
tion on that phase of art, lauding it above the 
faculty which he no longer can command. It is 

the fable of the fox who lost his tail, done into 



modern terms. However, the imagination can 
to a great extent be regained, and though it is 
of primary importanee in the original concep- 
tion of the picture motive, it is but little lesfl 
valuable in composition. 

Composition depends on the fundamental 
fact that every spot, every mass and every line 
in the pieture possesses a certain power of at- 
tracting or guiding the eye, this attracting or 
guiding power depending on the size of the 
spot, its placing within the area, and its inten- 
sity as compared to its surroundings — or, in 
the case of a line, on its intensity, its direetion 
and its magnitude. 1 1 should he clearly under- 
stood that so far as composition is concerned 
painter and the photographer approach the 

suhjeet from entirely different standpoints, the 
painter's atitude being synthetic, whereas the 
photographer's is analytic. That is, the 
painter starts with a hlank canvas or paper and 
by adding i ftriooi items to it huilds up a com- 
plete and harmonious whole, hut the photog- 
rapher's task is to select from the infinity of 
items presented to him those which will com- 
bine in a satisfactory manner. Therefore, the 


photographer's problem is chiefly to recognize 
a composition rather than to construct one, and 
it is evident that a discussion of composition 
which would be of value to the painter might 
be practically worthless to the photographer, 
or at least might involve an unnecessary 
amount of study, for it may be said that if a 
person can build up a satisfactory composition 
he can usually appreciate one when it is pre- 
sented to him. Of course, it sometimes hap- 
pens that the painter works analytically, and 
it also occurs that the camera user (especially 
in genre work) will have to proceed syntheti- 
cally, but the general rule is as given, so that 
many books which would be of great value to 
the student of painting are not recommended 
to the photographer. 

Whichever method the artist adopts, he 
should be so conversant with the principles of 
composition that the arrangement of the pic- 
ture involves no conscious thought — that he 
reacts automatically and unconsciously^ to a 
good or bad arrangement — for a definite, con- 
scious effort to mold a picture along certain 
lines is sure to result in a stiff, labored and arti- 



I product, which will repel the observer by 
its very rigidity. Therefore, study must be 
continued far beyond the point where the 

worker hM learned the fundamental principles 
of composition; in fact, no one ever reaches 

the point where such study may safely be aban- 
doned, for it is impossible ever to attain utter 
perfection in anything. In art as in other 
human activities, book-knowledge alone is use- 
less; so, though the young worker should read 
all that is available on the subject and should 
study the works of the great masters, he can 
never compose a picture until he has learned 
by experience and failure, for failure is even a 
better teacher than success. Therefore, study 
should always be supplemented by practice-, 
and the student should not permit himself to 

be discouraged by his failures he need not 

I ibit them. 
Absolute rules for composition, of course, 
cannot be laid down, but certain basic princi- 
ples may be enunciated, and from the study 
and application of these the worker will develop 

his own sense of arrangement 

An entirely blank space has no power of 


attracting the eye. If we consider the empty 
rectangle shown in Fig. 1 we shall see that the 

Fig. 1. 

Fig. 2. 

eye roams indifferently over the entire area, 
rinding no resting place; but the moment a 
spot is added within the rectangle (Fig. 2) the 



comes to rest on ftbe spot, and remains di- 
ed thither, with DO inclination to move 

Fio. 4. 

about, if. now, mother ipol be added, u in 

Fig. 8, the eye trawls hack and forth from one 
spot to the other and from this wc sec that any 


From a Bronioil Enlargement 


spot within the picture space attracts the eye to 
some extent. Suppose a third spot to be added, 

Fig. 5. 

Fig. 6. 

as in Fig. 4, and it will be seen that the eye 
travels over the three of them impartially ; but 
the addition of two more spots, as in Fig. 5, 



gives the eye a slightly different course, and 
forces the idea of a sequence, or order of ob- 
servation. Joining tin m spots by means of a 
line, as in Fig. c, the tame sequence is observed, 

hut the eye travels back and forth along the 

line, finding no complete composition; th< i 

Fio. 7. 

nothing to lead the eye into the unoccupied 
portion of the picture area. Joining the 
fcreme ends of the curved line by a straight line 
(Fig. 7) we see that the eye travels over the 
(iit ire closed figure, being carried into every 
quarter of the picture space (so far as tin com- 
position goes) and the composition is com- 
in itself, in that the eye returns to the 
starting point, though it is not a finished pic- 



ture. From all this it is seen that any spot in 
the picture area has a certain power of attract- 
ing the eye, that a series of spots attracts the 
eye in a certain progression, that a line is the 
equivalent of a series of spots, and that a 
straight line may induce the eye to travel from 

Fig. 8. 

one point to another exactly as does a curved 
line, the difference being that the straight line 
is more direct, but the curved line covers a 
greater territory. This is the fundamental 
theory of composition. 

Reverting to the spots, let us place in the 
picture area first a small spot and then a large 
one, as in Fig. 8, and it is at once apparent that 
the larger spot, other things being equal, has 



the gieater attractive power. Suppose, now, 
that we have three backgrounds a Light, a 
medium and a dark gray — and on each of these 

we plaee a white and a black spot of equal 
as in Fig. 9. It is apparent that in the first 
case the black spot is more attractive, in the 
second the attractions are equal, and in the 
third it is the white spot which lias the greater 
attractive power. This shows that the value of 
a spot in attracting the eye depends not only 
on its size, as in Pig, 8, hut also on its contrast 
with the surroundings. 

Let us now place two equivalent spots in an 
otherwise empty area, putting one at the center 
of the space and the other near the edge, as in 
Fig. 10, and it is at once seen that the eye tends 
to rest on the latter, this showing that the posi- 
tion of a spot in the picture space influences its 

power of attraction, and it may he said that 

'■Hence has shown the exact center of the 

picture to he the weakest part. Generally 

ipeaking, the best location for the principal 

objed is found by dividing the space into thirds 

Of fifths, both vertically and horizontally, and 

choosing one or another Of the intersections 


Fig. 9. 


shown. Broadly, a location above the horizon- 
tal axis is preferable to one below, though this, 
almost invariably true in portraiture and genre, 
does not always hold in landscape. Some pho- 
tographers mark off the ground glass as shown 
in Fig. 11, or in some similar manner, depend- 

Fig. 10. 

ing on the lines as guides in arranging the pic- 
ture, but this course is not advised, for it savors 
too much of artificiality and tends to reduce the 
making of the picture to rule, something that 
should never be attempted. It is best to ar- 
range the picture, so far as possible, without 
reference to the focussing screen; for, though 
the concentration and inversion of the picture 
on the ground glass facilitate composition, re- 



liance on these factors ultimately oomes to 
mean dependence on them, and the photog- 
rapher is at sea if he ever wishes to use a hand 
camera, Art must be (or at least appear) 
spontaneous; and it is better to work with a 
freer hand, gradually acquiring a sense of e<>m- 

Ita 11. 

position through repeated failures, than to pro- 
duce a picture which is mathematically cornet. 
but is labored, stilted and cold. 

If in undertaking the placing of three spots 
within the picture space we group them at 
equal distances from the center, or in any other 
regular arrangement, as in Fig. 12, we find 
that this adjustment results in a composition 
which, though Complete, is stiff and formal. 


and any regular grouping, whether of spots 
or of lines, will be so. Shifting the spots a lit- 

Fm. 12. 

Fig. 13. 

tie, as in Fig. 13, produces the same result so 
far as covering the space is concerned, and 
gives a more vigorous, vital effect. A regular 

4 49 


grouping belongs to formal — decorative— art, 
and far anything else an irregular spacing is to 
be preferred, as giving considerably man 
vitality to the picture. 

A satisfactory composition can be secured 
only by so arranging the lines and masses that 

Fio. 14 

the eye travels over the entire picture space in 
due and orderly progression, more time being 
given to the principal object than to any of the 

others. It is of vital importance that the pic- 
tare balance about both the vertical and the 
horizontal axis, that is, that the attraction! on 

each side of these ;i\cs be approximately equal, 
and there are scv< ral ways <>f securing this bal- 
ance. In Fig. 1 1 two spots of equal uk ait 



placed on the horizontal axis at equal distances 
from the center, and balance is obtained; but 

Fig. 15. 

Fig. 16. 

it is a formal balance, a better arrangement be- 
ing that of Fig. 15, where one large spot 
balances two smaller ones. Still another ar- 


rangemenl is thai of Pig, 16, where advantage 

ikeD of the fact that a spot near the edge 
of the picture has greater attraction than one 
near the center, whereas if the spots were sim- 
ilarly located the large one would overp 

the smaller. This may he varied by making 
the smaller spot contrast more with its sur- 
roundings than the larger, or by placing it in 
the distance or middle distance of the picture, 
the latter course tending to aid the suggestion 
of depth and consequently facilitating the 
securing of an illusion of three dimensions. 
This has been termed the balance of the steel- 
yard, and is probably the most vigorous of all 
the forms of balance, and the one most useful 
to the pictorial worker. It is admirably illus- 
trated in A Summer Landscape (page 78), 
where the small mass of the distant trcefl and 
bouses balances the larger mass of the fore- 
grOUIld tires and shadow, and in Mist /// the 
VaUcji (page 40), in which the hills and the 

foreground poplar balance across an imaginary 

axis within the picture, as well as in ./ Hillside 
Pasture (page 54), EastcrJ// IT cat her (page 
204) and Leylei (1 Wahihah (page 304). 



Several of the pictures just mentioned illus- 
trate a very important factor in pictorial work 
— namely, the use of a leading line. The lead- 
ing line is perhaps of more value in landscape 
than in any other branch of the work, and its 
importance may be realized by the student if he 
will imagine these pictures lacking that ele- 
ment. That is, try to think of the Summer 
Landscape without the road, and Mist in the 
Valley without the line of the fence, and it will 
Be seen that either one would break down into 
two disconnected and unrelated masses. In 
addition to connecting the factors of the pic- 
tures, the line serves in each case to conduct the 
eye into the distance, thus furthering the illu- 
sion of three dimensions and lending verisimil- 
itude to the whole. Instances innumerable of 
the use of such a line may be found, for it is one 
of the strongest artifices of the graphic artist, 
though, as has been said, of more use in land- 
scape than in portraiture. In the latter branch 
of the work the leading line generally appears 
in a flat plane rather than in perspective, and 
the line of a gown, an arm, or some piece of 
furniture may serve to carry the eye toward 



the sitter's face, tills use being exemplified in 

the portrait hy Ififlfl Collier (page 268). 

In " Pictorial Composition and the Critical 
Judgment of Pictures," Henry R. Pooiv dis- 
tinguishes seven fundamental forms of compo- 
sition: (1) tlie scales, (2) the triangle, (3) the 
circle, (4) the cross, (5) radii, (6) the line of 
curvature (i.e., the S or its equivalent, the zig- 
zag), and (7) the rectangle, these forms being 
inferred from an extensive study of pictures 
which have shown themselves to be satisfactory 
in the matter of composition. That is, when I 
picture is found to be satisfactorily arranged, 
an analysis of its structure is practically en tain 
to reveal the fact that the chief masses (and 
often the minor ones as well) take one or an- 
other of these forms, either in a Hat plane or in 
pective, and it may happen that two or 
more of these forms can he distinguished in one 
picture. Thus, it may be found that in some 
picture the cross is superposed on the curve, OV 
the circle is contained within the triangle; hut 
this does not vitiate the analysis — it rather 
tends to strengthen it. Mr, Poore also shows 

six fundamental forms of chiaroscuro, these be- 



ing found in combination with the structural 
forms already indicated, and deserving especial 
attention from the photographer, since atten- 
tion to light and shade, rather than to line, 
tends to cultivate a quality of breadth in the 
artist's work. Mr. Poore's analysis of the sub- 
ject of composition is masterly, and he ap- 
proaches the subject from the standpoint which 
has already been indicated as that best suited 
to the photographer (that is, the analytic) ; so 
it is unquestionably the case that a careful 
study of the book in question, together with 
the study of pictures to which it encourages the 
reader, will, if properly assimilated, produce a 
familiarity with sound composition which can- 
not fail to manifest itself in spontaneous and 
unconscious selection of the good arrangements 
presented by nature to the photographer. 

One paragraph in particular of Mr. Poore's 
book should be memorized by every photog- 
rapher, as it contains in a nutshell the whole 
theory of selective composition: "When in 
nature we observe a scene that naturally fits a 
frame and we find ourselves gazing first at one 
object and then at another and returning again 




to the first, we may be sure it will make a pie- 
. But when we are templed to turn, in the 
iectkn of the whole horiion * * * it 

l»n»\(s we have- not found ■ picture." To this 

the present writer would only add that so far 

m the photographer is oonoerned this examine 

tion should preferably he made through a ray- 
filter, so as to remove the disturbing dement of 
color, for it will not infrequently be found that 
i subject which is thoroughly satisfactory in 
color loses all its beauty when reduced to mono- 
ehrome. It is well, too, to make the final in- 
spection on the focussing screen, at all events 

until a good deal of experience has been at- 
tained. For our binocular, stereoscopic vision 

often deceives us into making exposures on 
subjects which are dull and uninteresting when 
seen with the single eye of the camera. 

One important clement in balance desen I a 
'ul consideration, for it is vital in Retire, 
almost equally so in portraiture, and by no 
means to be ignored in landscape — that is, bal- 
hy motion toward an area. When any ele- 
ment in the pietUN is shown apparently moving 
in any direction the observer's eye is p< werfully 




From a Platinum Print 


carried in the direction of the apparent motion, 
and this form of balance gives more vigor and 
life to the composition than any other. One 
of the weaknesses of all forms of graphic and 
glyptic art (if we except the motion-picture) 
is that it can only suggest and cannot actually 
show motion, and balance by apparent motion 
aids this suggestion to a remarkable degree. 
This mode of balance may be secured in genre 
by having one or more of the figures actively 
engaged in doing something; in portraiture it 
may be attained by having the sitter turn his 
head at an angle to his body, or if out-doors by 
having the garments wind-blown (obviously, 
this applies to genre also) ; and in landscape 
the effect may be given by the apparent blow- 
ing of trees, the movement of clouds, or the 
action of some small subordinate figure within 
the picture, examples being found in Evening 
Breezes (page 90), Illustration for a Story 
(page 28), and the frontispiece, as well as in 
several other reproductions in this book. In 
any case, the effect is of great value. It will, of 
course, be understood that this form of balance 
may be — and often is — used in conjunction 



with others, for the artist is under DO restriction 
as to the mode of s ec urin g b result. A great 
artist once said to the writer: " I don't care 
how a man gets his effect, so long as he gets it, " 
and this is an excellent motto for the pictorial 
photographer; in art, as in other matters, the 
only thing that counts is that the result is good. 
It is a well-recognized fact, which must by 
no means be ignored by the pictorial worker, 
that different types of line carry different sug- 
gestions, this circumstance being partly due to 
the muscular effort required to follow a line 
with the eye, and partly to racial association. 
Each change in direction of a line ealls for an 
effort to change the motion of the eychall, and 
when the changes are abrupt more exertion is 
necessary than when they are more gradual, 
so that one ean follow a straight or a em 
line more readily than a zig-zag one. Probably 
the immediate effect of this condition is slight, 
hut its operation through many generations has 
produced an association which is of importance 
in directing our attitude toward certain forms 
of linear arrangement. Ever since man first 
began to notice his surroundings (except with 



an eye to food), and especially since religious 
beliefs began to take form, we have been ac- 
customed to associate certain types of line with 
certain mental impressions. The vertical lines 
of trees and of ascending smoke, the horizontal 
lines of a flat country, the curving lines of 
wind-blown trees, the slanting lines of driven 
rain, have all played their part in arousing, 
first a sensuous and then an emotional re- 
sponse, so that to-day the consequent associa- 
tions are deeply rooted in our nature. 

We have for many thousands of years asso- 
ciated the act of looking upward with a feeling 
of reverence and worship — " I will lift up mine 
eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my 
help " — and this circumstance is probably the 
basis of the fact that the vertical line carries 
with it an inherent suggestion of majesty and 
grandeur: the spectator is unconsciously re- 
minded of thoughts of worship. Normally, the 
eye tends to maintain an approximate level, but 
it is readily carried upward by a vertical line, 
thus stirring the corresponding mental atti- 
tude, and this fact was made use of to a great 
extent by the architects of Egypt and Greece, 



though it may be doubted if tlu \ ever :malyz< d 
the reason for the effect s<> obtained. It fol- 
tliat when a suggestion of strength, ma- 
jesty, or nobility is desired, the vertical line 
should he the dominating one in the composi- 
tion, whether the picture is a landscape, a por- 
trait, or any other arrangement, though, of 
course, opposing or diverting factors may 
operate to modify the effect of the verticals, as, 
for example, in Sycamores (page 228), where 
the vertical lines are so broken by the foliage 
and so crossed by horizontal and sinuous lines 
that the effect is one of quiet rather than of 
majesty. Comparing this with Eastcrlii 
Weather (page 204), it will be seen that a 
totally different expression results when the 
general form of the composition is of a vertical 
tendency, and in The Woods of Colonos (page 
66), the horizontal arrangement of the picture 
detracts somewhat from the strength of the 
vertical lines of the trees. 

The chief characteristic of a calm and pea 

ful landscape is usually the predominance of 
horizontal lines; and this, possibly in combina- 
tion with the fact that we generally assume a 



horizontal position when resting, accounts for 
the fact that a composition showing mainly 
horizontal lines carries with it a suggestion of 
rest and quiet — there is nothing stimulating or 
exciting about it, and the observer uncon- 
sciously relaxes at sight of such a picture. If 
it is found that a landscape so constructed is 
too quiet, relief may be obtained, without intro- 
ducing an element of actual unrest, by the addi- 
tion of rounded cloud forms, for example, since 
we associate an up-springing curve with light- 
ness, buoyancy and the light and airy grace of 
youth. Of course, other kinds of line may also 
be used to break the monotony of the horizon- 
tal, this being merely a suggestion. 

In contradistinction to the horizontal line, the 
diagonal suggests motion. In the writer's 
study hangs a print of Frederic Remington's 
picture, Evening on a Canadian Lake, showing 
two men and a dog in a bark canoe, gliding 
along the edge of the dark reflection of the 
woods, and the main line of the picture is a 
diagonal, where the dark greenish-black reflec- 
tion meets the blue of the unshadowed water. 
So strong is the suggestion that the canoe ac- 



tually seems to move, though the artist hat 
skilfully adjusted the other factors — the deep 
shade of the woods, the color of the evening 
sunlight, and the quality of the ripples, as well 
as the attitudes and expressions of the actors — 
that the motion is evidently slow. One look- 
ing at the print knows as well as if told in 
words that these men are paddling leisurely 
along, searching for a good camp; and it is 
suggestion of this kind that is worth while — 
one can almost smell the balsam boughs on 
whieh these men will sleep. Of course, for the 
suggestion of the picture to be fully operative 
it must fall within the observer's experience; a 
city dweller who had never paddled along a 
lake at dusk would not smell the fresh, cool air 
of evening and the pungent odor of the I 
greens, would not hear the swish and ripple of 
the water along the sides of the frail canoi \ nor 
would he see in memory the flash and sparkle 
of a leaping fish: hut no one could miss the sug- 
gestion, the feeling of motion that comes from 
the artist's skill. 

The sinuous line is associated in our minds 
with grace and beauty, and instances innumer- 
* 62 


able arise to support this contention. The 
curves of the human body (most beautiful of 
all animal forms) the lines of all wild animals, 
the curves of a snake — if one can free his mind 
of the customary but abnormal and foolish 
prejudice against snakes, and really look at 
one, he will see that it is a creature of incom- 
parable grace — everywhere we look we see that 
curving lines are lines of grace and easy mo- 
tion. Herbert Spencer analyzed grace and 
reached the conclusion that the most graceful 
motion is the one which accomplishes the de- 
sired result with the least effort, and this is 
perhaps the cause of our appreciation of cer- 
tain lines and motions as graceful, for the most 
pleasing line is the one which the eye follows 
with the least muscular effort, provided only 
that there is some variation inherent in it — a 
straight line is the most direct, but is apt to be 
rigid and unyielding. Hogarth went so far as 
to select from a number of curves one which 
he designated " the line of beauty," declaring 
it to be the most beautiful of all lines, though 
probably not everyone would agree with him — 
it rarely happens that two persons think ex- 



actly alike on any subject, particularly in 
matters of taste. Still, the sinuous line is tlie 
one to be made the most of when the desire is 
to express the characteristics indicated. 

The zig-zag line is just the reverse of the sin- 
uous, for it demands sudden and abrupt 

changes in the direction of motion of the eye, 

whereas with the curved line the changes are 
gradual in their nature. For this reason the 
zig-zag line typifies unrest and instability, 
quick-churting and changing motion, like the 
Bight of a bat or a sparrow, an illustration be- 
ing found in Meissen (page 178), though here 
the artist has so skilfully countered the diag- 
onals with other diagonals and with verticals 
that the picture holds within the frame. 

It must not be supposed, however, thai the 
introduction of a line of any particular type is 
sufficient to carry the desired si ingest ion. nor, 
on the other band, that the suggestive effect of 
a line may not be counter-balanced by some 
other factor in the arrangement of the pattern. 
In the Remington picture referred to the main 
• nal line is countered by the curved lines 

of the canoe and by the verticals of the men's 



bodies, so that the suggestion of motion is 
strongly modified; and in Sycamores, as al- 
ready stated, the verticals are entirely over- 
powered by the horizontals and the curves. In 
fact, a composition making use of one type of 
line to excess becomes either monotonous and 
tiresome or restless and fidgety, whatever the 
character of the picture, and every element 
must be taken into account if the result is to 
be a unified and harmonious whole. 

One fact which is of the utmost importance 
in connection with the matter of line is that 
the eye tends to follow a vertical or a diagonal 
line up rather than down, and a horizontal or 
a diagonal one from left to right, this latter 
circumstance being of course the result of our 
custom of reading in that direction. The same 
observation applies to curved and zig-zag lines, 
and it will be found that this fact enters into 
the question of composition to a marked degree. 

One of the most debated points in photog- 
raphy is the question of detail, with regard to 
how much to include and how much to leave 
out, and it may be remarked that this discussion 

is not confined to camera work, but is found in 
5 65 


the whole realm of art. A well-known author 
once remarked to the present writer: " I don't 
dare tell my stories as tlu-y actually happened; 
people would say that I was exaggerating 
wildly, that such things couldn't possibly oc- 
iiir; so I am obliged to tone down the inci- 
dents." In graphic art the trouble is that 
excessive detail distracts attention from the 
main thought or object, and though the painter 
or the etcher can simply leave out superfluous 
detail, the photographer must resort to some- 
positive means of eliminating it. It was for 
this purpose — as well as to soften outlines — 
that the soft-focus lens was first designed, and 
such objectives are used, either by themsehnei 
or in conjunction with modifications of ex- 
posure and development, special printing medi- 
ums, and hand work on either negative or print 
or both, to get rid of the superfluous and inju- 
rious detail ordinarily given by the camera. 
Breadth of handling is a most desirable quality, 
and the fewer the details or gradations em- 
ployed the greater the chance of the message 
( arrying. A young reporter was once sent out 

to get the story of a train wreck, and tcle- 



graphed back to the office: " Good for six col- 
umns." The editor of the paper replied: " Tell 
it in one," and the youngster promptly re- 
sponded: "Can't be done." The reply was: 
" Try it, you fool. Story of Creation told in six 
hundred words." Evidently, no general rule 
can be given — each picture must be judged by 
itself in this respect — but one broad statement 
may be made; just so much detail should be 
included as helps to carry the message; any 
which does not help is harmful, and none can 
be indifferent. 

An element in composition which is at times 
most useful is repetition, and this may be made 
to serve as a reinforcement of either the princi- 
pal object or any other, or it may be made to 
lessen the force of an object or a line. In the 
Landscape by Karl Struss ("Pictorial Pho- 
tography," page 82) it will be seen that the 
repetition of the vertical lines of the trees les- 
sens the force of each ; the attention is divided 
among several instead of being concentrated on 
any particular tree, as would be the case if one 
stood alone. On the other hand, in Evening 
Breezes (page 90 of the present volume) the 



repetition of the cloud forms aids the sugges- 
tion of motion, because tin clouds are so placed 

that the eye travels t'n>m one to another along 
a diagonal lint-. In other words, we have here 
an instance of repetition with variation, whieh 
emphasizes the motive of the picture. In The 

Hi of C0I011O8 (page CC), we find that the 
repetition of the vertical lines of the tree trunks 
detracts from the vigor of any one particular 
tree, but aids the suggestion of majesty b\ 
Enforcing the feeling of the verticals. In por- 
traiture the vertical repetition may he used With 
good effect in the case of a full Length, which is 
always hard to compose, for it may be em- 
ployed to hold the figure within the frame; a 

j of \< rticals in the background draws the 

from the- main vertical and helps to carry 

the attention through the entire picture space. 

Other uses of this principle will suggest 

llicinst lv< s to the worker, hut care must he 

n not to overdo the matter, or the result 
will he very unpleasant. The writer has 
a photograph in which the rounded, huoyant 
forms of cumulus clouds were used to repeat 
the forms of trees, but the repetition was carried 


From a Carbon Print 


so far that the effect was simply ridiculous. A 
great caricaturist once said that the essential 
foundation of caricature is to exaggerate 
slightly one feature of the subject, and that the 
excessive exaggeration of this feature, or the 
exaggeration of more than one, produces a gro- 
tesque and not a caricature. This saying 
might well be taken to heart by all artists, for 
the inordinate use of any one element, be it 
repetition, contrast or anything else, vitiates the 
whole, by calling attention to the artifice em- 
ployed. Illusions are destroyed by a trip be- 
hind the scenes, when we recognize the windlass 
by means of which the gods ascend and descend 
Mount Olympus. 

It is necessary that a suitable entrance and 
exit be found in the picture. That is to say, 
the eye must first be attracted by some element, 
must then follow in an orderly progression 
through the picture space; and, when the cir- 
cuit has been completed, each element having 
received the proper amount of attention, the 
eye must be gracefully conducted out of the 
frame. Few things are more annoying than a 
picture in which the entrance is obstructed by 



some insistent accent, or one which is so ar- 
ranged that the eye follows again and again 
over the entire space without a chance of L 
ing off. The writer has seen a photograph in 
which the eye was obliged to travel around and 
around an ellipse, and, like the boy who ran 
after a trolley-car and caught it, couldn't let 
go, a violent effort being necessary in order 1 
stop looking at the print. In landscape the 
sky generally furnishes an exit, hut in por- 
traiture the artist must carefully arrange one, 
the frequently seen head set against a plain 
background having been aptly termed the 
' walk in and hack out n style of j>ortraiture, 
and possessing no possible merit beyond that 
of likeness. It is equally ungracious to ask a 
person to one's house and confront him with a 
barred door or to invite him in and insist on his 
remaining after he feels that the time has come 
for him to leave, and the artist who makes 
either entrance to or exit from his picture diffi- 
cult infallibly leaves a had impression and di- 
minishes the likelihood of a second visit. 



The term " values " may be denned as the 
intensity of light reflected from objects, though 
this definition is not precisely correct from the 
pictorialist's point of view, since some colors 
have a psychic effect different from their ac- 
tual photometric value. Thus, we are accus- 
tomed to associate yellow with light and 
warmth, so a yellow object may appear lighter 
to the eye — or, rather, to the mind — than, say, 
a violet object which has the same reflecting 
power. Nevertheless, the definition as given 
may be accepted as generally satisfactory. 

It must be understood that the light values 
of a given object are by no means constant, for 
they vary with the quality and intensity of the 
incident illumination, and even under a given 
light they are not necessarily always the same, 
so far as the pictorial effect is concerned. For 
example, suppose one is standing, about sun- 
set, facing the west, and there is a row of trees 

in the middle distance. The eyes will naturally 



accommodate themselves to the illumination of 
the dy, and as a result of the eontraetion of 
the pupils no detail will be Been in the dark mass 
of the trees, whieh will appear opaque and 
empty of gradation, and of an intense hlack- 

ness. If, however, the eyes be shaded from the 

light of the sky. details and gradations will leap 
out in a most astonishing manner in the b 
and foreground. Suppose, now, that after 
looking at the trees with the eyes shaded for a 
time, the gaze is again directed at the sky, and 
it will he found that this, whieh hefore may 

have had considerable gradation, now appears 

white and blank, if, indeed, it is possihle to look 
at it for more than a second or SO. From this 
it is evident that the values in any arrangement 
must be considered in relation to one another, 
and as a whole — that it is impossible to lay 
definitely that such and such a value must he 
thus and so. In each case the desired effect 
must be taken into consideration. In the in- 
stance given, if the interest happens fco he- in the 
sky it will be perfectly proper, and a correct 

rendering rf the appearance of the scene, if the 

foreground is underexposed, BO that the mass 


of the trees is made black in the print, whereas 
if the interest is in the trees it will be proper to 
allow the sky to be nearly empty of gradation, 
and if the picture depends on interest in both 
sky and trees it will obviously be necessary to 
adjust the exposure and development so that 
gradation is retained in both portions, or the 
result will be a failure. To secure the proper 
inter-relation of exposure and development for 
this last effect is one of the most difficult prob- 
lems in photographic technique, and demands a 
non-halation, color-sensitive plate, and a ray- 
filter, as without these aids correct exposure for 
the trees will mean gross over-exposure for the 
sky. In working for the second effect — a con- 
centration of interest in the trees — it will ordi- 
narily be well to retain some slight gradation 
in the sky, but even if it is decided to discard 
such gradation care should be taken that the 
sky retains some tone, for a blank sky is never 
true either to fact or to appearance — the sky 
never actually seems white to us. 

In the vast majority of cases it is impossible 
to represent the actual values of a scene by any 
graphic medium whatever, though in some spe- 



cial cases this may be done. The scale of the 
actual values of most compositions far exc 
the possible range of any medium, because the 
artist u limited for his highest light to white 

pigment (in the ease of the photographer t<> 
white paper) which always absorbs some light; 
and for his black, to black pigment, which al- 
ways reflects some of the incident light. A 
landscape may include the sun, which has an 
intensity of millions of candle-power, or even 
if this is not within the limits of the picture the 
intensity of the sky may still be far above any- 
thing which can be truly represented by white 
paper, especially since the picture is generally 
examined indoors, by B relatively weak light; 
in fact, the deepest shadow in a landscape may 
easily reflect more light than the highest pos- 
sible light in a photograph of the scene. Sim- 
ilarly, the shadows of a night scene are dark 
beyond anything possible to photography, and 
it is hopeless to attempt an accurate reproduc- 
tion of them as they in fact are. It is, however, 
possible to secure a satisfactory representation 
of almost any scene by a correct ad just men t of 
the relative values, and, indeed, were it not for 


this fact no graphic representation of any sub- 
ject — or almost any — would be possible at all. 
If we choose blank paper for the highest light 
of the picture — which, by the way, should 
rarely be done, it being usually better to have 
some tone, even in the extreme lights — and the 
deepest black we can command for the darkest 
shadow, and in between these we adjust all the 
other values in their proper relation to the high- 
est light and the deepest dark of the original, 
the picture will carry the suggestion desired. 
In fact, it is not even necessary to use the full 
scale of the paper, for if the values are cor- 
rectly adjusted among themselves the effect 
may be as good as though the full range of 
tones possible were employed, and from the pic- 
torial standpoint it may be a great deal better. 
The writer has seen a picture in which the high- 
est light was a light gray and the deepest dark 
no darker than a medium gray, yet the sug- 
gestion of moonlight was perfect, simply be- 
cause the internal relationship of the values had 
been adjusted with absolute accuracy. In 
passing, it should be observed that though the 
shadows of a moonlit landscape are intensely 



black they never seem fiat to the eye; there is 
always I Sense (if Space and depth within them. 

The writer is not prepared fcp state whether this 
is a psychic effect, due to our knowledge that 
depth actually exists there, or is a physical 
phenomenon, arising, as one author claims, 
from the existence of an inherent luminosity 
within the eye; but the fact remains that a flat, 
empty black does not truly suggest the shadows 
of a moonlight scene. To obtain the true im- 
pression, some light must be found in the 
darker portions of the print, and this may take 
the form of a slight gradation or, preferably, 
a luminosity of the darks themselves, as in 
the case of a carbon or multiple gum print, a 
heavily-inked oil, or, least effective of all, a 
varnished platinum. 

The writer has described elsewhere* the 
methods to be employed tot the correct ren- 
dering of relative values, so this need not be 

recapitulated here, hut it is worthy of note that 
although it is sometimes possible to reproduce 
the actual values, as in the case of a portrait or 
a still-life, it is seldom worth the effort, since 

'"Pictorial P ho tograp hy, ik Prtedpkt tad i > r.i<-t i<«." Chap- 
ii and iv. 



the values thus obtained are correct for only 
one definite intensity of viewing illumination, 
and truthful ad j ustment of the relative values 
will give the desired effect within a wide range 
of key. To be sure, correct actual values imply 
correct relative values, but the reverse is not 
necessarily the case. Of course, the actual val- 
ues must be somewhere near right — a portrait 
is not convincing if the face is a dark gray — 
but precise adjustment of the internal relation 
and an approximation to the true values will 
be satisfactory. 

A correct rendering of the relative values, 
though it gives a true impression of the scene, 
is apt to be pictorially unsatisfactory, since na- 
ture, though almost always pictorial, commands 
effects which are beyond the powers of the ar- 
tist to imitate. As has been pointed out, the 
artist's limited powers oblige him to resort to 
finesse, to dealing in symbols, and one of the 
most effective of his artifices is the modification 
of relative values. Therefore, he darkens a 
light here, lightens a shadow there, perhaps 
obliterating entirely some obtrusive spot; and 
thus, by producing an effect which is impres- 
sive rather than truthful, he conveys his mes- 



sage — a message which would be conveyed far 
better by bo actual rendering of the scene, were 
such a tiling possible; whereas, if he adhered to 
the truth, so far as it lies within his abiliti« 
do so, the result would be dull, mechanical and 
uninteresting. If wc stand facing the west 
just after sunset, while the sky is still glowing 
with color, and look across broad fields of grass 
or grain, we shall see that the sky is Intensely 
luminous and the foreground is a light gray- 
green. This relationship can be rendered per- 
fectly if a non-halation, color-sensitive plate be 
used with a suitable ray-filter, provided care is 
taken witli the exposure, development, and 
printing; but the result will not necessarily 
suggest the original, for the same effect can he 
obtained at mid-day if there is just enough haze 
to prevent the formation of cast shadows, and 
the photograph may re p re s e n t either of these 
effects. The painter can suggest the scene in 
its true values, for the evening color is not at 
all like that of noon, but the photographer can 
accomplish the result only by falsification of 
values. By developing his plate a little more 

strongly than for a truthful result, so that by 



the time the sky has assumed its proper tone in 
the print the foreground is too dark, he can 
make the picture suggest the time of day when 
it was taken, and this has been done by Mr. 
Summons in his print, Leylet el Wahshah 
(page 304) . It is interesting to note that if like 
treatment is accorded a similar picture taken at 
or about noon on a hazy day, the suggestion of 
evening may be secured, provided a suitable 
color is chosen for the print. The photog- 
rapher has one advantage over the painter, this 
resulting from the fact that although the color 
of objects differs at different times of day it 
often happens that the relative values are the 
same, so that by proper manipulation — not 
necessarily involving any hand work — the cam- 
era user can frequently give an entirely differ- 
ent interpretation of the scene from that 
afforded by nature. Thus, a picture taken 
about dawn may, by printing in a low key, be 
made to simulate an evening scene, and one 
taken near twilight may, by choosing a high 
key, be made to look like early morning. This 
plan may be of use when the objects and pat- 
tern of the scene suggest some particular time 



of (lay, lait when it is not possible to secure the 
desired angle of light at that hour. 

Contrast is one of the most useful tools in the 
artist's kit. and may be employed in many 
ways. Thus, a horizontal line may be Contrasted 
with a vertical, a young model with an old one, 

and so on, hut it is particularly contrast of light 
and shade which will he referred to here. 

It has already heen pointed out that the 
feet of contrasting one space of light or dark 
with another is to intensify the value of each, 
and this fact is of primary importance. A pic- 
ture which is entirely in a low key is apt to look 
muddy, if in a medium key it may he dull and 
characterless, and if the key is hi«jh the result 
may seem pale and washed-out. If, however, 
a suitable amount of contrast is introduced, the 
picture brightens up or gains solidity in a most 
amazing fashion, and often but a slight touch 
of light or dark is necessary to accomplish the 
purpose. Try to imagine the clouds lacking in 
Eveninr/ Breezes (page 90), or the sky in /,<•//- 
Ict el W ah shah (page 304) a flat tone — even. 
if necessary, covering these touches of light with 

pieces of paper of the right value, so as to get 



From a Photogravure 


the effect — and it will at once be seen that the 
result in each case is a decided loss of vigor. 
But what is perhaps the strongest use of con- 
trast is found when the highest light and the 
deepest dark are placed in juxtaposition, the re- 
mainder of the picture area being kept in a 
middle tone, for by this means the concentration 
of attention is great and the force of both light 
and dark is augmented. This is illustrated in 
the latter of the pictures mentioned, in which 
the domes of the buildings receive great em- 
phasis from the proximity of the strongly 
lighted sky, this latter in turn gaining from be- 
ing against the dark spots of the buildings. 
This artifice is of much value in the portraiture 
of men of strong character, where it may be em- 
ployed to call attention to the salient points of 
the sitter's personality. In the present volume 
contrast is illustrated in the author's portraits 
of his mother (page 16) , and of Dr. Edward A. 
Reiley (page 240), both of these persons hav- 
ing been of marked force of character; and the 
use of contrast in general is admirably exempli- 
fied in Illustration for a Story (page 28) and 
The Prelude (page 166) . In Mr. Hiller's and 

6 81 


Miss (.ilpin\ prints the rapid yet controlled 

interchange of light and dark gives i brilliance 

and snap which can l>e secured in no other way. 
The danger in the use of contrast lies in the 
possihility of overdoing it, thus producing 
either spottiness or harshness, or both. Tl 
a common fault with beginners, who, under- 
exposing and overdeveloping their plates, pro- 
duce what has been termed a " bald-headed 

sky," or in portraiture have one side of the face 
buried in shadow while the other is hlank and 
lacking in tone. The safest plan to follow is 
to construct the major portion of the picture in 
a medium tone, reserving the ends of the scale 
for emphasis. This, however, is not a method 

which is popular with the author, whose motto 
is, in general, " Take a chance," rather than 
"Safety first." The "safety first " idea un- 
questionably results in a safe and comfortable 
existence, but it lacks excitement, becoming 
flat, stale and unprofitahlc, in ait as in life 
"Better fifty years of Europe than a cycle of 
Cathay 99 ; and it is certain that tlie strongest 
and also the most exquisite pictures are con- 
structed at one end or the other of the scale, the 


light or the dark values being reserved in each 
case for use in small areas, to give either weight 
or brilliance. 

The term " key " is used to indicate the gen- 
eral character of the values in a picture — or, in 
other words, the pitch ; a picture in a high key 
being one which has no large areas of shadow 
below a light or medium gray, and one in a low 
key being so adjusted as to have no large spaces 
of bright light. A medium key indicates the 
absence of any strong lights or strong darks in 
large measures, and a full scale print is one in 
which the entire gamut of the printing medium 
is employed, the areas of light and dark being 
distributed with something approximating uni- 
formity throughout the scale. The choice of 
key has tremendous influence on the psychic 
effect of the picture, as will be seen. 

Our racial associations are such that we are 
accustomed to regard light as cheerful and 
agreeable, and darkness as depressing, this fact 
being shown by the ordinary connotation of the 
word " gloom," which is commonly regarded as 
meaning " melancholy," whereas the primary 
significance refers simply to dusk or darkness. 
For thousands of years, before we had artificial 



light, day was a time i'<>r working and hunt- 
ing, hut night was a time of peril from Savage 
beasts, the added terrors of the imagination 
peopling the dark with malignant being 
superhuman power, for the religion of primi- 
tive man is always a religion of fear. Thus 
darkness came to be associated in our minds 
with discomfort and danger, and the thought 
still persists, as is shown in the instinctive fear 
which many ehildren have for a dark room. 
Therefore, when the artist wishes to convey an 
impression of sorrow, melancholy or depression, 
a low key is selected, and when the purpose is 

to suggest light or brightness or cheerfulness a 

high key is preferred, as is evidenced in the best 
portraits of children, which rarely have any 
large area of dark, and in sunny landscapes, 
which are of similar character. In fact, it is 
almost impossible to convey a real suggestion 
of sunlight unless a relatively high key is cm- 
ployed; the attempt to suggest sunlight by 
Strong contrast is almost inevitably foredoomed 
to failure. The writer, as has been said, dors 
not feel that the medium key is of much gen- 
eral value; it has neither the sparkle and bril- 



liance of the high nor the depth and richness of 
the low, though it has been much used by pho- 
tographers who wished to avoid the banal full- 
scale effects characteristic of the earlier days 
of the art, and to the researches of such men 
is largely due the knowledge we now have of 
the possibilities of the camera in pictorial ex- 
pression. The medium key, however, is non- 
committal, and is used chiefly by those who f ear 
to trust themselves in either a stronger or a 
more delicate expression. On the other hand, 
the full scale, using the entire palette, is the 
strongest and most vigorous of all, and de- 
mands that the artist employing it shall be a 
master of his medium. It is the expression par 
excellence of strength and vigor ; but as the high 
key, used unskilfully, deteriorates into weak- 
ness and the low key into muddiness, so does the 
full scale, unless used with comprehension, run 
into harshness, this being true not only artisti- 
cally but also technically, for it demands preci- 
sion of exposure and development and an exact 
adaptation of both to the printing medium. 

Some subjects actually demand a truthful 
rendering, but they are the ones whose beauty 



is inherent, and, though they may be very 
lovely, it is rare that such a oik- has gieal pay- 

dlk value. An instancr is in the ease of sunlit 
snow, for if Hie values he in the slightest degree 
off or if the print he the least hit too dark or 
loo light, the exquisite jewel-like beauty of the 
Subject disappears at OUOe. The writer was ;it 
one time much interested in subjects of this 
character and attained some skill in the render- 
ing of them, hut has OOme to the eonelusion that 
sunlit snow is not indicated when the desire of 
the artist is to arouse an emotion; it may be 
exceedingly beautiful and may have great 
asthetic merit, but the very fact that it requires 
truth of appearance necessarily precludes 
suggestion and places such representations defi- 
nitely in the realm of craftsmanship. Neverthe- 
less, the writer would strongly recommend that 
y student of photography make an especial 
study of snow under sunlight ; if he can make it 
look right — like what it is — be may fairly 
claim to he a skilled craftsman, and he will be 
able to render other things equally well, for this 
is probably the most difficult problem of alL 

It cannot be said that any one part of photo- 


graphic expression is more important than an- 
other; composition is fundamental, the values 
must be right, and unless the mechanical part 
of the technic is familiar to the worker he can- 
not put into the print what he feels. Of course, 
an idea to express is imperative, but this cannot 
be taught — it must preexist in the worker's 
mind; and next in the sequence of the work 
comes the arrangement of the pattern, the con- 
sideration of the key and the scale of the picture 
following. However, composition can be 
taught; study under a good master will famil- 
iarize the student with the accomplishments of 
the great artists and will result in his learning 
sound, though not inspired, arrangement. The 
study and appreciation of values, however, lies 
in the student's own hands. No instructor can 
instill this sense of the fitness of the relation pf 
light and shade, the utmost possible being for 
the teacher to tell the pupil what is generally 
considered good or bad, and this may not agree 
with the individual's ideals and purposes; in 
fact, if the student has any originality and force 
it probably will not, for one of the character- 
istics of the original worker is a disinclination to 



pi the popular judgment. The best guide 
to the study of light and shade and of values 
will be found in the works of tin- great masters, 

black and white being better for this purpose 
than color, not merely because they approach 
nearer to the photographic expression but 
chiefly because the sensuous element is removed 
and only the intellectual remains. 

It is also necessary to study values at Brst 
hand, and this means forming the- hahit of ob- 
servation. Few persons really observe, a vague 
general impression being the most that the 
average individual gathers of a scene; and there 
is but one way to acquire this most imperative 
hahit — namely, to observe. A great painter 
once told the writer that practice had made it 
possible for him to look at any landscape for 
twenty minutes and go home and paint it cor- 
rectly from memory, entirely without notes of 

any kind-— though it should be added that he 
never did paint it exactly as he saw it. but al- 
ways introduced modifications to make the re- 
sult more impressive. If anyone will make I 
definite effort to look carefully at any scene, 
memorizing the features of it as fully as pos- 



sible, and endeavoring to recall them later, he 
will probably be surprised at the amount he 
can remember. Constant practice in such mem- 
orizing will train the memory to a very high 
pitch, and will at the same time train the ob- 
servation. This practice should not be confined 
to any particular time or place, but should be 
carried on at all times, when walking or riding, 
at home, on trains, on the street, in fact, any- 
where at all. The student will soon reach such 
a point that a glance will suffice to impress on 
his memory the important facts concerning 
either a face or a locality, and, in addition to 
acquiring a retentive memory and a facile 
power of observation, he will be storing up a 
collection of impressions with which to compare 
other impressions that he may afterward en- 
counter, such a collection being of inestimable 
value. In addition to developing his mental 
powers he will also be benefitted by the sight 
of many interesting things which, but for his 
growth in observation, would have passed un- 
noticed, and the effect of this will be to enrich 
his appreciation, to broaden his mental horizon, 
and to make the world more pleasant for him. 




Suggestion and mystery, though not iden- 
tical, BIC closely akin, and in practice it is often 

impossible to say where one merges into the 

other, the exact point of contact being some- 
what indefinite. "H madly speaking, however, we 
may say that mystery consists in affording an 
opportunity for the exercise of the imagination, 
whereas suggestion involves stimulating the 
imagination by direct in- indirect means. Sug- 
gestion, if successful, is always to he preferred 
to delineation, simply because the spectator, 
grasping the artist's unexpressed idea, experi- 
ences a glow of self-satisfaction, precisely as 
though he had mastered a difficult chess prob- 
lem, and is more impressed than if the idea had 
been fully put down for him to grasp without 
effort. One rememhers longer the chess prob- 
lems one solves 1 1 1 ; 1 1 1 those o\' which the miswi r 

1ms been given. 

Suggestion may be of many kinds, from the 


simple use of a given type of line to the more 
abstract sort in which the fundamental animat- 
ing idea of the picture is suggested and not 
expressed, and may be used to almost any ex- 
tent, these two forms being exemplified in The 
Woods of Colonos (page 66) and Finis (page 
128) . The first suggests, by the majesty of the 
vertical line, the strength and grandeur of the 
great dramatist whose birthplace Colonos was ; 
the second suggests — to the author, at least — 
the sublime terror of' 

That Day of Wrath, that dreadful Day 
When Heaven and Earth shall pass away. 

And here, by the way, is an interesting illus- 
tration of the power of the imagination. To 
anyone with even the most elementary knowl- 
edge of evolutionary processes, the idea of a 
cataclysmal Day of Judgment is one which the 
reason simply refuses to accept; it is rejected 
as absolutely unthinkable. Yet we are able, 
by an effort of the imagination, so to project 
our appreciation into the minds of those to 
whom such a Day was a certain fact as to re- 
ceive an actual stimulus from this picture, 



though not, of course, so Btrang ■ one as would 
be received were the reason not operating to 
inhibit, in part, the imagination. This power 
of projection inheres in nearly everyone; did it 

not, suggestion would be impossible. 

Two other examples of different forms of 

suggestion may also be given, and the Brst is 
as follows: In the city of Moscow there stands 
a statue representing a man dragging a woman 
and child from the water, and the story is this: 
Czar Peter the Great had been ill of a fever, 
and while convalescent walked out one day, 
against the advice of his physicians. 1 1 is steps 
led to the river, and there lie saw a peasant 
woman and her child struggling in the- water. 
for it was winter and tin- ice had ^'wcw way 

as they attempted to cross. Unhesitatingly 
the great czar plunged in, and alter a hard 
fight brought the two safe to shore, hut the 

shock caused a recurrence of the fever, and he 

died. It is dlfficull to believe that anyone could 
look at this statue and know the story without 
being thrilled and stimulated by the thought ol* 
this self-sacrifice, and it is within the hounds of 
possibility that the indirect rilVet of the czar's 



Brum a Bromide Knlnrgempnt 


death may be as great as the direct effect of 
his life and work. 

The other example is from the writer's own 
experience. Several years ago he was spend- 
ing some time on the Maine coast, and one day, 
with three or four friends, went for a walk 
through a pine wood, where the quiet air, the 
tall, straight tree-trunks, the soft carpet of 
needles, and the hush of the woods all combined 
to make a most impressive setting. After walk- 
ing a mile or so one of the party left to return, 
and with ten steps was out of sight along the 
winding path, but as she went she played an 
ocarina, and the tune she played was " Ye 
Banks and Braes o' Bonnie Doon." The soft 
and mellow notes of the instrument fitted per- 
fectly the plaintive little Scotch air, and as the 
music died away in the distance none of the 
party cared to speak, for it was as though Pan 
were piping in the woods ! And for a few min- 
utes we almost expected to see elfin faces peep- 
ing at us from the bushes, and to hear the 
laughter of the gnomes and sprites and pixies 
of our childhood fairy tales. 

Here, then, are two instances of suggestion, 



the one concrete, vigorous and virile, the other 
delicate and elusive as the perfume of B Bower, 
hut none the less potent to stimulate the imagi- 
nation and to arouse memories. A writer lias 
said that the most an artist CUB do is to make- 
one think, all at once, of all the finest things lie 
has seen and heard and read, hut this does not 
take into account the imagination, and there 
are, further, racial memories, come down to us 
from thousands of years: 

So to the land our hearts we ghre 

Till the wire magic strike. 
And memory, use, sad Lore make live 

I Fa and our fields alike — 

Thai deeper than our ipeech <>r thought, 
Beyond our reason 9 ! w 

Clay of tile pit whence we m Te \\ rOUg&1 

; us to its fellow-elav. 

For many thousand years om ancestors li\ ed 
in caves riven in the hills by nature's forces, or 

sheltered themselves from storms under a 

kindly elifV: and to these people the hours of 

darkness were hours of terror, helpless as they 

were against the beasts of prey and even more 



helpless against the powers of evil conjured up 
by their own imaginations. The impressions 
so gained have never left us, and to this day 
a child or an imaginative person may suffer 
agony in the dark, where every vaguely seen 
spot a trifle lighter than the surrounding dark- 
ness is a thing of fear, and familiar outlines are 
transformed into unknown— and therefore 
doubly terrible — dangers, like the Gnarled 
Monster in " Croquemitaine," which, seen 
closely, was but the outflung branch of an old 
oak tree. Let us return for the moment to the 
row of trees we spoke of before, but this time it 
is before dawn, and we are looking toward the 
east. The trees are barely seen in outline 
against the deep blue sky, and the field be- 
tween us and them shows only as a vague space 
slightly lighter in value than the black mass of 
the trees. Here is mystery, for the shadows of 
the trees might conceal anything, either earthly 
or supernatural, and it depends on our imagi- 
nations to people the darkness with whatever 
we choose. Gradually the sky grows lighter, 
and as the light increases vague outlines begin 
to appear, which we may take to be cattle, or 



men, or houses, for the .shapes are distorted anil 
nothing is dearly seen. As the light grows still 
stronger we find that what we took for men 
were really fence-posts, the cattle we thought 
we saw were in fact clumps of weeds, and sug- 
gestion is lost in the clear light of day. This 
gives us a hint of where mystery and suggestion 
lie; in vague outlines, in dark shadows, and in 
breadth of drawing rather than in detailed 
vision. But there is a greater and higher form 
of mystery than this. The world we live in is 
one vast mystery, and superhuman forces are 
seen in the storm, in sunlight, in the white blan- 
ket of snow that covers the earth, in the spring- 
ing of buds on plant and tree, but more than 
all else in the child lying in its mother's arms. 
The man who can see and feel this great mys- 
tery of life — and can also make others see it — 
he is the great artist. 

It is impossible to tell fully how myst 
may be secured, but two hints may he given, 
one dealing with darkness, the other witli light. 
Suppose the picture is of a dark interior, with 
the principal object alon e clearly lighted Then 
if the chief object is but vaguely outlined, the 



edges being diffused, and the rest of the pic- 
ture — except for what essential details may be 
present — is kept dark, with but a trifle of 
gradation in the shadows, mystery will be at- 
tained. However, mystery inheres in light as 
well as in darkness, and we will suppose that 
the picture we have in mind includes a white 
house in sunshine. By using a soft focus lens 
(taking care not to overdo the diffusion) , keep- 
ing the negative soft, and printing in a high 
key, it will be possible, if the work is well done, 
to suggest something of the shimmering mys- 
tery of sunlight. 

Returning to the matter of suggestion, as 
the more concrete and more easily explained, 
we may say, generally, that any incomplete or 
unexplained motion is suggestive, for the spec- 
tator naturally looks to see where the motion 
has its source and whither it tends; the mind 
always desires an explanation, and if denied 
it will fabricate one for itself. Thus, the sight 
of an object in motion through the air causes 
the person seeing it to look to see whence it 
was thrown, and in Evening Breezes (page 90) 
the apparent blowing of the tree suggests the 

7 97 


presence of wind, an idea which is reinforced 
by the position of the clouds and by the angle 
of the horizon line. 

One of the strongest factors in suggestion is 
what we may call " the illusion of reality," for 
if we can persuade the spectator to imagine that 
he is looking at the actual objects themselves 
rather than at a pictorial representation of them 
he will be more apt to receive and act upon any 
suggestion which we may wish to convey than 
when it is entirely obvious that the thing before 
him is merely a symbolical presentation of nat- 
ural objects. In endeavoring to convey an 
illusion of reality the first effort must be to 
secure a correct relationship of values, for if 
this is done the mind is strongly stimulated, 
even at times going so far as to receive an 
impression of color, although no color is pres- 
ent in the picture. 

Next in importance comes the matter of 
definition, or drawing, and the photographer 
must be on his guard against excessive sharp- 
ness as well as against excessive diffusion; tin- 
aim should be to present as nearly as may he the 

quality of definition seen by the eye, erring, if 



at all, in favor of slightly too much softness 
rather than in the other direction, for excessive 
diffusion is not so unpleasant and repellant to 
the eye as excessive sharpness. 

The third factor, which some think the most 
important of all, has to do with the size of the 
print. We are accustomed to think of natural 
objects — men, houses, trees — as large in com- 
parison with ourselves, even though they may 
appear small to the eye by reason of perspec- 
tive; the mind translates the record of the eye 
into its own terms. Further, in looking at 
natural objects we are accustomed to move the 
eye, and we have come to associate this motion 
with the idea of magnitude. So when we see 
a print 4X5 or even 8X10 inches, with men 
and houses reduced to an inch or so in height, 
and the whole print so small that we can grasp 
the entire picture space without moving the 
eye, we realize at once, without conscious effort, 
that we are dealing with a collection of symbols, 
and there is no illusion of reality. If, however, 
we make the print large — 16X20 or 20X24 — 
the eye is called upon to move from point to 
point of the picture space in order to take in 


the whole composition, and the mind is stimu- 
lated by Hie action of tlu- muscli ifl controlling 
the eye. There is also an dement of suggestion 
tending to arouse tlu- mind and to produce an 
illusion of reality in the fact that the print itself 
is larger than we are accustomed to see a photo- 
graph, and these two factors, operating to- 
gether, arc potent in helping the spectator to 
forget his surroundings and lose himself in the 
picture. Therefore, it is desirable to have the 
values correct within themselves except for 
such falsification as may be pictorially desir- 
ahle, to have some diffusion of outline-, and to 
make the print as large as can well be done-. 
Of course, from the- (esthetic standpoint, sise 
has nothing to do with merit ; pattern and print 

quality may be as satisfactory in a small print 
as in a large one — in fact, they are more likely 
to be so, for enlargement shows up defects in a 
most astonishing manner. So that to the- 
aesthete and the' virtuoso size is not a thing to be 
desired, but in reaped of pictorial effect the 
large print is by far the more- impressive* 



Landscape photography, like the Gaul of 
Ca?sar's time, is divided into three parts : 

(1) Record Work. In this work the photog- 
rapher, pleased with the beauty of some delight- 
ful scene, and wishing to perpetuate it, makes 
a photograph — it cannot be called a picture — 
to keep alive the memory of his pleasure. 
Workers of this class are generally those who 
go out walking with a camera, and bring home 
half a dozen or a dozen exposed plates, which 
are developed and printed, the prints being 
then placed in a desk drawer and being no more 
seen of men. These photographers may gen- 
erally be recognized by their paraphrase of the 
famous remark attributed to the English: " It's 
a fine day; let's go out and take a picture." 

(2) Interpretive Work. Here the pho- 
tographer sees and notes the distinctive char- 
acter of a landscape, studies it under different 

effects of atmosphere and light, and at differ- 


cut times of fear, and, becoming thoroughly 
acquainted with it, photographs it in such i 

manner as to express the thing that mak- 
precisely what it is, and dlOWfl the character 
exactly as the good portrait worker shows the 
soul of his sitter. A photograph of this kind, 
taken in the lierkshircs. would never he mis- 
taken for one taken in the Cumberland* or the 
Rockies, and a person seeing a picture from a 
country with which he is familiar will at once 
recognize it, even though he may never have 
seen the particular spot portrayed. It will be 
realized that this represents an advance on the 
first kind of work, for it is quite possible t" 
stimulate memories and associations, and 
through them an emotion, by true interpreta- 
tion. The interpretive worker is quite as apt 

to go out without his camera as with it, for it 
is his custom to study the country thoroughly 
and for a prolonged period (often weeks or 
months) before attempting any .serious work, 
and it is no unusual thing for him to come hack 
from an expedition with his outfit, not having 

exposed a plate. Tie knows, when starting out, 
just where he is going and from what angle 


he is going to photograph the scene he has in 
mind, and if the conditions are not just right 
when he reaches the intended spot he does not 
make an exposure. As an illustration, it may 
be said that Mist in the Valley (page 40) is the 
result of three years' study of the locality and 
three more years' consideration of the negative. 
The writer has in mind a group of trees which 
he has had under consideration for two years, 
and of which he hopes to get a successful pho- 
tograph in about six months from the time of 
writing, for conditions then will be right. 

(3) Inspirational Work, In work of this 
sort the photographer is not concerned with any 
particular section of the country. He starts 
out with a definite purpose in view, and his aim 
is to find a landscape which will conform to his 
idea and help him to express the emotion he has 
in mind. The result, when successful, is un- 
questionably a picture, but it has no definite 
landscape character; it does not express any 
special place except insofar as the type of 
country may be found in some definite section 
of the world. It will be understood that inspi- 
rational work is at once the highest and the 



most difficult class of landscape photography; 
and it may he noted that the worker in this 
style is more apt to modify his plates and prints 

by hand than either of the others — partly he- 
cause it is no easy matter to find just the MXrl 
of landscape required, and partly because the 
stimulating of OH emotion is more likely to de- 
mand a departure from actual fact than is the 
case with either record or interpretive work. 

There is, indeed, a type of photographer who 
indulges more in manipulation than any of 
those mentioned, but it is perhaps hardly fair 
to class him as a photographer at all. It is his 
custom to wander around with a eamera until 
he finds some arrangement which conforms t<> 
sound composition and then to photograph it, 
afterward manipulating either plate or print 
or both until some thought or emotion is sug- 
gested, when a title is devised and the print is 
sent out to exhibitions as an expression of a 
mood. Many of the results so produced are 
very fine — also, many are not — but work of this 
type should properly be discussed under the 
heading of draughtsmanship rather than in a 
book devoted to photography, so it will not 



be considered further here, nor will the first 
class, since record work is a phase through 
which every photographer passes, which is 
outgrown by every worker of any ability and 
true artistic impulse. There would be no 
more point in endeavoring to stimulate a 
worker to pass from record to interpretive 
photography than there would be in trying to 
stimulate a child to walk rather than to creep, 
for, given the power, it is something that he 
cannot help doing; if the power exists, so also 
does the desire. The vast majority of the pho- 
tographs shown in our exhibitions, however, 
belong within the first classification, due to the 
tendency already mentioned to accept as artis- 
tically satisfying any result which is aestheti- 
cally pleasing; did the judges of such exhibi- 
tions insist that a photograph, to be worthy of 
acceptance, must show an idea, the walls of 
our exhibition rooms would present large areas 
of empty spaces, with a few frames to be seen 
here and there. It is true that most of these 
photographs have their origin in an enthusiasm 
for effects of atmosphere and light, but this 
does not make them less truly record work than 



the ones in which the interest lies merely in topo- 
graphical lentil! 

Among the American workers with land- 
scape Vfhoae prints the author knows, W. K. 

Macnaughtan, Annie Brigman, and Gertrude 

Kasebier are most completely and fully repre- 

sentative of the second and third cb pho- 

tographer. The work of Mi-. Afacnaugfatan 

varies between the interpretive and the inspi- 
rational, and that of Mrs. Kiisehier and Mrs. 

Brignian — who, however, frequently if not in- 
variably use figures to assist the expression of 
their ideas — is almost purely inspirational, 
showing in eaeh instance a rare quality of 


So OUT discussion will be eonfmed to inter- 
pretive and inspirational work; and since there 
is no hard and fast line between the two, mid 

also since the difference which exists is inside 
the worker and can neither he taught no: 

sed (though had education may retard its 

expression) our consideration will cover both 

classes at the same time, for it will ncecssarih 
be restricted largely to the objective phase of 



From » Bromide F.nliiwnii-nt 


The emotions which may be ex pressed or 
stimulated by means of landscape photography 
include practically all those which lie within the 
province of graphic art, hut most easily stim- 
ulated as those of a quiet eliaraeter, such as 
calm, peace, sadness, wonder, reverence, and 
the like, though, as has heen said, reverence is 
probahly too great for the photographer, and, 
indeed, is generally beyond the grasp of the 
painter as well. Joy, whether the simple joy 
of living or rejoicing over some definite condi- 
tion, such as warmth or light, is also easily at- 
tained, but is not so deep an emotion. The 
stronger ones are the quieter, a violent emotion, 
such as extreme joy or horror, though more 
impressive at the time, being less apt to leave 
a deep impression on the mind, in which respect 
the pictorial representation differs from the ac- 
tual experience. Generally speaking, the 
quieter emotions are the pleasanter to live with, 
and unless a picture is designed to produce an 
immediate and powerful effect, as in the case of 
Xast's and Raemakers's cartoons, it is better to 
avoid violent expression, though this must not 
be understood as a depreciation of the artists 



named, each of them having exerted i tremen- 
dous influence for good on the thought of his 
fellow-men. The mood or emotion aspired to 
will, of course, depend on the artist's tempera- 
ment, some workers finding their highest 
pression in sadness or pathos, whereas others 
shun anything approaching melaneholy and de- 
vote themselves to brighter, happier aspects of 
nature, and it is generally assumed that the 
former are more likely to produce a hating 
work. This may be true, and, in fact, it prob- 
ably is — it has been said that a theatre audience 
would rather cry than laugh — but at the same 
time, the author would point out that anything 
which exerts an unfavorable psychic suggestion 
exercises a depressing influence on the specta- 
tor, thus lowering his vitality, whereas a favor- 
able suggestion raises the vitality markedly, 
rendering the individual influenced more able 
to accomplish his work. Still, it must not be 
forgotten that there is .1 vast difference between 
tragedy and pathos, and the great dramas of 
Shakespeare do not have the same depressing 
effect as the mournful and morbid stories of 
Poe, despite the fact that both show the darker 



side of human nature. The conclusion seems 
to be that if an artist is great enough in his in- 
sight into nature and in his power of expression, 
he can choose his subjects where he will; but the 
lesser man will do well to adhere to a more 
subtle aspect in selecting his material. 

The artist, then, will in general make an 
effort to choose and to reproduce such effects 
of landscape as are productive of the character 
of emotion indicated ; and, though no rules can 
be given which will make such expression cer- 
tain, nevertheless a few hints may be afforded, 
dealing with principles which are fundamental 
in all graphic art. 

Joy, pleasure, happiness and similar emo- 
tions, are expressed in terms of light and ex- 
pansion. It has already been explained that 
our associations cause us to regard darkness as 
depressing, and the reverse is equally true — 
that light is associated with happiness. The 
sun is the giver not only of light but also of 
warmth, of comfort, and, through its action on 
plant life, of food. This fact has so impressed 
itself on the minds of men that some earlier 
races went so far as to worship the sun itself, 



and the widespread influence of this idea is 
in the fact that it obtained among races so far 
separated geographically as the Parsccs and 
the Aztecs (though, to be sure, some ethnolo- 
gists claim that the Aztecs originated in A 
So the effect of light on our minds must not 
be ignored, and it will be found that in exp 
sing joy a high key is most effective, especially 
if combined with a feeling of direct sunlight 

Further, a person under the influence of pain 
or sorrow or distress unconsciously e\pr< 
his feelings in muscular contractions or a bowed 
and drooping attitude, a fact whieh will he real- 
ized by anyone who has ever experienced the 
ministrations of a dentist. On the other hand, 

health, comfort and happiness are expn 

through vigorous, expansive and buoyant mo- 
tions and attitudes, and rounded forms in art 
naturally carry this suggestion* As a 
quence, the artist who aims at stimulating the 
more joyous emotions will make use of domed 
hills, fall-foliaged trees nidi as the maple and 

the oak, and cumulus clouds, in combination 

witli sunlight, this relationship at once making 

it clear that pictures of the character indie 



are best made in late spring, summer or early 
autumn, whereas pictures meant to convey a 
feeling of sadness will be secured in late au- 
tumn, winter, or early spring, when the trees 
are bare of leaves and the cloud forms tend less 
to the round and more to the flat ; or, if such pic- 
tures are to be made in summer, trees of a 
pointed type will be found most useful, cedars, 
cypresses, hemlocks, and poplars furnishing 
valuable aid. A potent factor is found in the 
association of spring and summer with growth 
and development, and of autumn and winter 
with death and decay, for many years of false 
training have taught us to regard death as an 
abnormal and terrible thing instead of — as it 
actually is — a perfectly normal function of life, 
no more to be deplored (when it comes in the 
natural course of events) than birth itself. The 
poet sings: 
The melancholy days are come, the saddest of the 

Of wailing winds and naked woods and meadows 

brown and sere, 
and there are few in whose minds this sentiment 

does not find a response, even though we may 


know that the death of the flowers [fl but the 
precursor of a more glorious rebirth. 

A fact which should he constantly in the 
mind of a photographer who aims at the stimu- 
lation of the larger emotions is that a low hori- 
zon is of great value — is, in fact, all but 
imperative — in suggesting space. If the land- 
scape occupies hut the lower quarter or third of 
the picture area, the remainder being given i >ver 
to the sky, a vast expanse of country is at once 
suggested, but the effect of a foreground pic- 
ture, with the horizon above the middle of the 
print, is necessarily constricted — " cribbed, cab- 
ined and confined." This is not meant to decry 
foreground pictures, but merely to point out 
that a high horizon cannot convey a feeling of 
large and open country, and that the larger 
emotions rarely exist within a small area. Com- 
parison of A Hillside Pasture (page 54-) with 
A Mount din Meadow (page 216) and Mei$$en 
(page 178) will make clear the greater sense 
of space resulting from a low horizon. 

Calm and peace arc neither joy nor Badness, 
but partake somewhat of both emotions, and 
the expression of these sentiments is found at 



its best in the afternoon and evening hours of 
spring, summer and early autumn, when the 
foliage is still on the trees, but the light is be- 
ginning to fail, and the association here is that 
connected with the time of rest from labor. The 
long shadows and the warm afternoon light 
suggest the approaching hours of repose, but 
the grass and the leaves on the trees prevent 
the thought of sadness that comes from the 
suggestion of decay, and the result is but a 
quiet and restful impression. The quality of 
light in the morning hours is very similar to that 
in the evening, except that it is apt to be cooler, 
though this factor, which is of importance to 
the painter, is of no particular consequence to 
the photographer. What does concern the 
camera worker, however, is the circumstance 
that there is likely to be dew on the grass in the 
morning, and often, mist in the air, and in au- 
tumn there will very possibly be frost on the 
ground, these facts combining to suggest an 
entirely different mood from that given by the 
evening hours. 

Further, though it is possible to manipulate 
exposure, development and printing in such 

8 "3 


fashion as to make the morning appear the 
ning, or vice versa, to do so is insincere, and will 
perhaps make the picture less satisfactory to 
the artist himself, for it is desirable, in pho- 
tography, not to deviate from the truth more 
than is necessary. Still, it .sometimes happens 
that a chosen spot may be quite what is desired 
in every respect except that the proper angle of 
light cannot be secured in the afternoon, and 
the photographer may be obliged to expose his 
plate in the morning and secure the effect by 
printing deep and choosing the required color 
for the print, for the quality of negative for 
both morning and evening renderings is the 
same. Sycamores (page 228) and LcyUi 1 7 
Wahshah (page 304) are typical of the nega- 
tive required, and either of these pictures, 
printed in a different key, would be a satisfac- 
tory presentation of the other time of day from 
that represented. To suggest evening, the print 
should be in alow key, the detail in the shadows 
should not be too clearly seen, and the outlines 
should be slightly diffused. This means that a 
soft focus lens should he used, the plate should 
be slightly under-exposed — or, preferably, un- 



der-developed, for under-exposure upsets the 
internal relationship of the gradations at the 
same time that it obscures shadow detail — and 
printing should be rather deep. Under-devel- 
opment gives a negative which will in all prob- 
ability print too soft — be lacking in contrast — 
and intensification may be resorted to, using 
an intensifier which does not act on the extreme 
shadows, or, as an alternative, a multiple print 
may be made in gum, gum-platinum, or oil. It 
should be observed that if the values of the hour 
just after sunset are correctly recorded so far 
as lies within the power of the camera to do 
so, the scene will not have contrast enough to 
give the desired effect. To give a true im- 
pression of this time of day the foreground 
should be relatively too dark as compared to 
the sky. It may seem strange that in a mono- 
chrome art the color of the print should be of 
importance, but such is decidedly the case. Our 
impression of the afternoon and evening light 
is one of warmth, and to use a cold color for 
the print is to lose the suggestive power in- 
herent in the warmer colors. Further, cold 
colors lose their identity sooner than warm 



when the light is fading, a blue appearing 

Mack while a brown still retains its character- 
istic look. For these reasons the photographer 

will do well, in attempting to suggest evening, 
to employ a toned support for his image and 
to make the image itself* brown or warm black. 
The early morning hours carry a very dif- 
ferent appeal from those of evening, and fur- 
nish an inspiration for an entirely different 
class of work. In the former case the photog- 
rapher is more likely to feel and to desire to 
show the delicate, evanescent effect of mist or 
the gray light of spring. The results obtained 
in this manner are less decidedly peaceful than 
those of the later hours, and are perhaps less 
deeply moving, but they are nevertheless po- 
tent in evoking memories and associations, and 

in stimulating a mood. If the evening hours 
are compared to the Seep, rich quality of a 
piano or organ, the morning may be likened 

to the delicate- notes of a violin, or to a light 
and charming aria as distinct from a full 

chorus. As has been said, the quality of the 

negative will he much the same in each case. 
though it may perhaps he well to allow a little 



more shadow detail to appear when working 
for a morning effect, and to have the defini- 
tion a trifle firmer — partly because any mist 
will tend to make the outlines seem softer 
in the print, and partly because a more 
delicate print appears softer in outline than one 
which is darker and more vigorous. It is well 
to print in a blue-black on a white stock, 
thus suggesting the cool light of morning. 

The middle of the day will not generally be 
found so satisfactory for inspirational work as 
either the earlier or the later hours, but it will 
sometimes prove the most desirable for inter- 
pretive photography. However, the shadows 
are shorter and there is less relief, and the light 
is ordinarily harder than when the sun is nearer 
the horizon, so the hours between ten and 
two are usually avoided by the pictorial worker. 
It will be found that near the middle of the day 
a fairly truthful representation of the values 
is generally more desirable than either earlier 
or later, and A Summer Landscape (page 78) 
is an admirable illustration of the conviction 
carried by a perfect rendering, this picture 
being at the same time a good example of 



sound, though not inspired, landscape photog- 
raphy. This is unquestionably a sunny sum- 
mer day, and especial attention is called to the 
transparence of the shadows, a feature which 
most workers render far too dark. The long 
lines of the road lead the eye to the group of 
trees and buildings in the distance, whence it is 
carried by the light of the sky, and is drawn 
hack to the group of trees on the right, the 
trunks of these leading it to the shadows lying 
across the foreground — and the arrangement is 
complete. This picture, therefore, combines a 
high level of craftsmanship with sound observa- 
tion, and, though it cannot be said to bear any 
great inspiration, it nevertheless has much 
ing, and to those who are accustomed to look 
below the surface of things it is restful and pleas- 
ing beyond many more dramatic and strained 
effects. Comparing this picture with A Moun- 
tain Meadow (page 216), we see that in the 
latter case the artist has elected to depart from 
the truth for the sake of pictorial effect, mak- 
ing use of exaggerated contrast The shadows 
in a sunlit landscape could never be so dark as 
they are here represented, this lowering of their 



From a Bromide Enlargement 


value being due partly to a desire to emphasize 
by contrast the strength of the light and partly 
to the wish to confine the interest to the 
meadow rather than allow it to wander to the 
mountains. Dramatic strength is thus secured 
at the expense of truth to fact, and the impres- 
sion conveyed by the picture will depend on 
the spectator's attitude of mind. Some will 
find the departure from the facts so objection- 
able as to vitiate the picture's merit for them, 
whereas others, concerning themselves less with 
the appearances of nature, will receive the mes- 
sage which the print intended to convey. It 
is said that someone once reproached Turner 
for exaggeration, saying r 

" I never saw a sunset like that! " 

" No," replied the painter; " but don't you 
wish you could? " 

Whether true or not, this anecdote furnishes 
a proper rebuke to those literal-minded souls 
who expect an artist to adhere always to precise 
and exact representations of the facts of nature. 

When we come to consider the technique of 
landscape photography, we find that much 
depends on the style in which the artist wishes 


to work, though certain factors will probably 

remain constant. An orthoclironiatic or a 

panchromatic plate is Imperative it' the val- 
ues arc to l>c correct ly rendered, and it 
should be noted that the color-sensitive plate 
presents no advantages over the ordinary 
blue-sensitive emulsion unless a suitably ad- 
justed ray-filter is used, though the Biter 
need not greatly increase the exposure. In 
fact, it may definitely be stated that a Biter 
which increases the exposure to more than five 
times that required for the unscreened plate is 
either inefficient or else is over-correcting, that 

is, rendering the yellows and reds too ligfal and 
the blues too dark. Sometimes the filter will 
he intentionally omitted, to secure better results 

from the pictorial standpoint, and this is espe- 
cially the case when Hat, poster-like efYccts are 

desired. In general, however, it is better to use 
the filter, thus obtaining true rabies, and to 
depend on subsequent modification of cither 
negative or print for necessary falsification. 

It is often Stated that the use of a filter elim- 
inates atmosphere, but this is by no means the 
case. Atmosphere, or aerial perspective, as if 


is sometimes called, is one of the photographer's 
most useful tools in suggesting distance and 
depth, for the camera's monocular vision as 
contrasted with the stereoscopic vision of the 
binocular human being, and its failure to repro- 
duce color, remove two of the factors whereby 
we judge distance, leaving only linear per- 
spective, variation in size with distance and 
aerial perspective, or the progressive lighten- 
ing of objects as they recede into the distance, 
this lightening being due to the interposition 
of a veil of mist of varying thickness between 
the eye and the objects. It is the case that the 
ultra-violet and violet rays are more strongly 
scattered by water vapor in the air than are the 
green and red, and since it is the shorter waves 
(i.e., the violet and ultra-violet) which affect 
the plate most strongly it follows that if a blue- 
sensitive emulsion is employed any mist which 
may be present will be more visible to the plate 
than to the eye, so that an ordinary plate exag- 
gerates atmosphere. Even the color-sensitive 
plate is excessively sensitive to the ultra-violet 
and violet, so this plate also exaggerates at- 
mosphere when used without a filter, but the 


function of the filter is to absorb the ultra- 
violet and enough of the violet to produce an 
effect corresponding to the visual effect The 

color-sensitive plate, therefore, when used with 
a correcting filter, shows the scene precisely as 
the eye sees it, instead of introducing an exces- 
sive amount of atmosphere. Except for spe- 
cial purposes it is of importance to retain 
atmospheric perspective, but it is seldom desir- 
able to emphasize it, and the writer therefore 
feels that the best plan is generally to iu 
suitably adjusted fully correcting filter, though 
it may sometimes happen that a somewhat 
lighter filter would prove valuable, since such 
a one will exaggerate atmosphere slightly. The 
writer carries only the one filter, howev er , 
tiering that a complication of apparatus is un- 
desirable, though this is a point which every 

worker must decide for himself. 

For landscape work the panchromatic plate 
has little if any advantage over the orthochro- 
matic, since the latter will render satisfactorily 
any color except red, of which there is seldom 
any great amount in a landscape. What 

plate is used it should be non-halation, as other- 



wise it will be impossible to record properly a 
sky-line or any branches which may project 
against the sky — the halation may even be so 
pronounced as to lose small branches entirely. 
Further, halation will be present in the sky 
even though it may not be apparent as such, 
the effect being to over-expose the sky portion 
of the picture, even with timing, which is in- 
sufficient for the foreground. In the writer's 
opinion, backing is the most effective method 
of preventing halation, though a double- coated 
plate is very efficient. It is commonly said that 
films are non-halation, and in ordinary circum- 
stances this claim is justified, but in cases of 
extreme contrast — which may well arise in land- 
scape work — they will not be found to stand 
the test so well as either double-coated or 
backed plates. As to the lens, the writer be- 
lieves a soft-focus objective to be preferable 
to the use of any of the numerous methods of 
diffusing the image given by a corrected lens, 
and considers the best general focal length to 
be given by the empirical rule of adding the 
lengths of two adjacent sides of the plate — i.e., 
nine inches for 4X5, eighteen inches for 8X10, 



etc. For widespread in ij landscapes a somewhat 
shorter lens may be preferable, and for small 
isolated hits the length may be increased. For 

the rest, the question of type of camera and 
lens, the printing medium, and the decision as 
to whether to print direct or to enlarge, must 
be left to the individual, though it may be of 
interest to state the writers own practice, 
arrived at after eleven years of experiment. 
The camera is a four by five reflecting type, 
and backed panchromatic plates are used, for 
the writer wishes to be prepared to do portrait 
work on demand, and does not wish to bother 
with various kinds of plate. The plates are 
developed in a tank, and 11 X 14 hromoil prints 
are made, any necessary modifications being 
carried out in the print at the time of inking. 

It is evident that this manner of working prac- 
tically precludes duplication of prints, hut the 
writer seldom wishes to repeat a success, and if 
prints are made for sale it will he found that 
the fact that a print is unique will considerably 
enhance its value in the eyes of the average 
purchaser, though the writer himself is very far 
from being in sympathy with this attitude of 



mind, and does not make unique prints for such 
a reason. To the author it is no drawback that 
a picture has been duplicated, nor is his enjoy- 
ment of a fine print impaired by the fact that 
others have had the same opportunity for en- 
joyment. The desire for unique prints is con- 
fined to those whom George Bernard Shaw has 
contemptuously termed " picture- fanciers " 
and is not found among true picture-lovers. 

The author almost always uses a tripod in 
field work, since his landscape exposures, using 
a fast plate and a five-times ray-filter, with a 
lens working at F/5.5, are of the order of 1/5 
second, too long for the camera to be held in 
the hands. This may seem an absurdly long 
exposure, in view of the exceedingly brief ones 
given by speed workers. It must be remem- 
bered, however, that in speed work a slight 
under-exposure is usually not serious, and, fur- 
ther, that the various actinometers and expos- 
ure tables on the market are calculated to give 
the minimum exposure which will render 
shadow detail satisfactorily; but shadow detail 
can be secured before the exposure reaches the 
straight portion of the Hurter and Driffield 



curve, that being the index of correct internal 
relationship of the values. An aetinometer is 
usually employed, as the widest experience is 
not sufficient to enable the worker to estimate 
the correct exposure in all circumstances, al- 
lowance, of course, being made for the m 
sary increase required for full exposure. 

It must not be supposed that anyone who 
so desires can easily become a fine landscape 
photographer — can at once leap forward as 
an interpretive or inspirational worker, as 
Minerva sprang full-armed from the brow of 
Jove. It is only the Bandar-log who expect to 
accomplish wonderful things in a minute 

Something noble and grand and good, 
Won by merely wishing wr could. 

\o, a loog and arduous apprenticeship must 
be served, but the enthusiastic photographer, 
who loves his work, as does every true artist, 
will find each step on his road a joy and a de- 
light. Disappointments there will he, failures 
as well as sn , but a failure is often more 

educational than a success, far One spoiled print 
may lead to scores of admirable ones. 




In speaking of winter work we will assume 
that there is snow on the ground, for unless this 
is the case the question resolves itself simply 
into the matter of ordinary landscape at a time 
when foliage is tacking. Given snow, however, 
winter work may be divided into the same three 
classes as landscape in general — that is, record, 
interpretive and inspirational; with the con- 
spicuous difference that the presence or lack of 
direct sunlight is of far more importance than 
in summer work, being, in fact, practically a 
determining factor in itself. Sunlit snow is so 
brilliant that it is almost out of the question to 
render it successfully in any but a high key, no 
matter what the circumstances may be, and 
we have already seen that a low or medium key 
is emphatically indicated for the strongest 
inspirational work, a high key being reserved 
for the less powerful record and interpretive 
classes. It may, however, be doubted whether 



any other natural phenomenon approaehes, in 
sheer beauty, the effect of an expanse of new- 
fallen snow with a late afternoon sun on it, pro- 
vided that the surface lias been broken, either 
artificially or by the contour of the ground, suf- 
ficiently to n-ive the necessary relief.* The 
intense brilliance and the exquisite gradations 
of light are then of a most stimulating char- 
acter, and cannot fail to appeal to the sensuous 
appreciation of anyone who has the Blighted 
feeling for the beauties of light, so that the 
photographer who desires to attain the highest 
pitch of aesthetic expression will find it to his 
advantage to make a careful study of this char- 
acter of subject. 

In endeavoring to record sun on the snow it 
will be found that it is best to work before ten 
o'clock and after two, since between those 
hours the shadows are short and a flat, unre- 

• Foot-prints are IHHM lllliflj useful to break the monotony 
of the surface. They arc advantageous in tint they may be 
made precisely when- dMfoedj also, if the camera is facing 
toward the sun. they furnish small spots of contrasting light 
and dark tin- dark in tin- hollow of the print. :in<l the light 
where the sun strikes iCrOM the snow thrown up by the feet 
alongside the mark N 



lieved look is apt to result. It will also be 
found that the best effects are secured if the 
camera is facing toward the sun rather than 
away from it, as is indicated in Fig. 17, where 
the sun should be in the hemisphere indicated 


by the solid line rather than in that shown by 

the dotted one (in fact, this is true of probably 

seven-tenths of all landscape work done when 

the sun is shining) . As a rule, it is well to have 

some dark object, such as a tree, included in the 

picture, to give weight to the scene, but it will 

sometimes be possible to gain solidity enough 
9 129 


by means erf cast shadows on the surface* by 
open water, or even at times by the simple 
weight of the sky, and if the shadows arc falling 
toward the camera they will be of considerable 

value in aiding the photographer to secure- the 
desired effect. 

Sunlit snow is one of the few types of sub- 
ject in which it is well to have the extreme high- 
lights of the picture represented by absolutely 
blank paper, but even in this ease such ai 
should l>e small; the extreme white should he 
reserved for incisive effect or the result is apt 
to be chalky, a fault which is apparent in the 
great majority of snow pictures. Most work- 
ers think that brilliance is achieved hy a large 
space of light, forgetting that it is a matter of 
contrast, and that the most brilliant effect is 
obtained by contrasting a small area of tight 
with a large space of a darker value. Light 
loses its intensity as it spreads, and this is quite 
as true in art as in physics. 

But since the beauty of snow in sunlight de- 
pends on the delicate gradations of light, it 
follows that if the attempt is made to render 
the lights too strong, hy introducing excessive 




From a Photogravure 


contrast, there is apt to be a loss of gradation 
in the upper half-tones. There must be a care- 
ful adjustment of the values throughout, this 
necessitating precise exposure, development 
and printing, since under- or over-exposure 
upsets the gradations in the negative, under- or 
over-development makes the total contrast of 
the plate too slight or too great, and incorrect 
printing causes the print to be either weak and 
characterless or dull and heavy. Care must 
be taken that any dark objects which may be 
present be not rendered too dark, this also being 
a common fault, arising, as in the case of exces- 
sive white paper, from a desire to secure bril- 
liance by contrast. The shadow side of a tree, 
for example, under the character of illumina- 
tion we are considering, never looks black ; it is 
at most a medium gray, and should be so 

From all this it will be seen that pictures of 
this sort are distinctly high-keyed in character. 
The deepest dark is a medium gray, the larger 
areas of the print are a very light gray, and 
the extreme lights are white. It may be in- 
ferred that a soft, clear negative is required, 



and this is precisely the case; the exposure 
should he ample, the development should be 
soft, and any suspicion of chemical or light fog 
detracts by just so much from the brilliance and 
beauty of the finished print. 

For successful results it is absolutely imp 
ative to use a color-sensitive plate and ray- 
filter. The average person thinks of a snow 
scene as black and white, but as a matter of 
fact there is a great deal of color in the circum- 
stances under discussion. The cast shadows 
and the shadow side of objects are illumi- 
nated solely by reflected light from the sky, and 
consequently have an intense blue color, which 
is actinically so near to white that a non-color- 
sensitive plate will hardly differentiate them. 
It is true that they can be separated even on 
such a plate by a very brief exposure, but 
then any dark object present will be grossly 
under-exposed, so it is far better to separate the 

values of light and shade l>y the use of the ray- 
filter, which absorbs the proper amount of 
ultra-violet and violet. The exposures will he 

much the same as for tlie same scene Ifi sum- 
mer, since, though the snow reflects more light 



than grass and foliage, the light is weaker to 
begin with, and, the contrasts being so great, it 
is necessary to give sufficient exposure to per- 
mit the shadow detail to attain a satisfactory 
strength early in the course of development, 
before the lights have gained too much density. 
That is to say, with a fast panchromatic plate, 
a five- times filter, and a lens working at F/5.5, 
about 1/5 second will be correct for an average 
snow scene, though for an open snow scene 
(i.e., one without dark objects) a half or a 
fifth of this will be sufficient. There is rarely 
any great amount of mist present in sunny 
winter weather, so the photographer must de- 
pend on other factors for perspective, though, 
to be sure, an ordinary plate will exaggerate 
what mist there may be. However, the effect 
given by using such a plate is a flattening of 
contrast by lightening the shadows, so that, 
though sunlight is apparent by reason of these 
shadows, the impression given by the print is 
not that of a sunny day, but is a rather incon- 
gruous, nondescript sort of thing — neither fish, 
flesh, nor good red herring. 

As regards a printing medium for subjects 


of this type, platinum is decidedly the best, 

though a good platino-matt bromide is not 
easily distinguished from it. Indeed, if the 
print be framed, it may be impossible to say 
that platinilni has not been used, Gum and 
carbon are not so desirable, for it is not easy, 
with either of those processes, to retain the \ ery 
delicate beauty of the extreme lights, and oil 
is not recommended because one of its charac- 
teristics — which, however, renders it very use- 
ful in other branches of work — is the loss of 
some of the more delicate gradations through- 
out the scale unless the brush is handled with 
extreme care. It is, nevertheless, possible to 
employ any of these printing mediums, pro- 
vided it is skilfully and carefully handled — it 
is merely that platinum and bromide are easier 

to manipulate when striving for this particu- 
lar effect. 

When we come to consider snow under a dull 

illumination the ease is very din'crent, for if 

direct sunlight is absent the artistic possibili- 

ire greater and the technical difficulties arc 

less. Probably the easiest and at the same time 

least exploited of the opportunities afforded 



by this character of subject is to be found in 
poster effects. Curiously shaped trees, wind- 
ing streams, tree branches against the sky, 
weeds outlined against the snow, and many 
other outdoor arrangements are found, which, 
when treated in a flat and decorative manner, 
are well worthy of attention, but comparatively 
little has been done in this direction. Here it 
is not imperative to render the values correctly; 
they may vary widely from the actual and yet 
give a pleasing result, for all — or nearly all — 
depends on the worker's sense of pattern, and 
the writer has seen an eminently successful 
result in which the snow was represented as a 
dark gray, and open water as absolutely black. 
Still, prints of this sort fall mainly within the 
merely decorative class, being simply of 
aesthetic beauty and rarely carrying any valu- 
able psychic suggestion, so that for the highest 
form of expression we must go further. Among 
American photographers George Seeley has 
been more successful than any other in this 
style of work, though it is not meant to imply 
that this represents the limit of Mr. Seeley's 
achievement. It is merely one phase of his 



work, and he has attained a much higher ex- 
pression in other directions than is possible in 
the one indicated. 

The most conspicuous and impressive cle- 
ment in a winter landscape under a dull illumi- 
nation is the strong sense of dreariness, of 
melancholy, associated with it, except, indeed, 
when there is a storm present, in which case our 
feelings may approach actual fear. The dull 
gray leaden sky. the flat expanse of snow, and 
the mist which is often at hand, especially 
toward spring, all combine to form a most de- 
pressing effect, one which is worthy the atten- 
tion of any artist who aims at evoking a mood 
in his audience. A landscape of this sort, if 
well represented, with due attention to horizon- 
tal lines and the avoidance of any bizarre forms, 
will prove most powerful to arouse a feeling 
of melancholy, which many people will enjoy, 
exactly as many enjoy a play which draws 
tears. Personally, the writer does not care for 
that sort of thing; he would he rather one of 
those Athenians who fined the dramatic poet 
for harrowing their feelings with a tragedy: 
hut it is not to be denied that the average per- 



son would prefer tears to laughter, and that 
the most impressive picture is the one which is 
sad, dreary, or melancholy in the response which 
it calls forth. 

When there is a storm ahroad the dramatic 
2>ossibilities rise to greater heights ; for though 
gently falling snow is quiet and peaceful in its 
suggestion and its promise of brilliance when 
once the sun returns, driving snow, swirling 
in the gusts of wind and irregularly blotting 
out the landscape, calls to mind the innumerable 
stories of travelers who have been lost and have 
died before aid could reach them. Even in the 
city driving snow is impressive, its associations 
being so strong, and when we add figures bend- 
ing and striving against the wind in open 
country, where no houses are to be seen, the 
sense of loneliness and peril may even become 
oppressive. One of the strongest stories the 
present author has ever read — far stronger in 
conception than in execution — describes the 
experience of two Gloucester fishermen whose 
dory became separated from the schooner, so 
that the men were forced to row several hun- 
dred miles to land. One of the men — hardly 



more than a boy — succumbed to the cold, and 
his mate continued alone, that the dead man 
might have Christian burial ashore, the sur- 
vivor's bitter hardships being still Further in- 
creased by a snowstorm. The sense of dai 
and desolation given by the picture of this 
solitary man driving his boat day after day 
through blinding snow, his mate's body lying in 
the stern, could hardly be augmented by any 
device whatever, and is one which might well 
be rendered in a photograph, though nevt 
well as by a master of words. So the camera 
user who wishes to stir the deeper feelings will 
make use of storm and driving snow, concen- 
trating his attention — as he needs must — on the 
foreground, and probably making use of fig- 
ures to aid his expression. Ruskin is i 
with having said that no picture could be truly 
great unless it contained a human figure, or at 
least some suggestion of humanity, and though 
such a statement is certainly not correct, it is 
nevertheless true that the introduction of a fig- 
ure is often of ma iked assistance, and this is 
nowhere more conspicuously the case than in 
the more dramatic snow scenes. Such figures, 



however, will generally have to be posed, since 
there is usually not enough light for a snap- 
shot, and they should not be too large or they 
will overpower the landscape and the picture 
will fall within the realm of genre. Still, even 
in pure landscape the possibilities are great, 
and the camera worker is advised to turn his 
attention to cloudy and stormy snow scenes 
rather than to brightly lighted ones. 

It is interesting to note that for this class of 
work the color-sensitive plate rarely presents 
any advantage over the ordinary one. The 
landscape is almost entirely of a gray cast, and 
can be rendered quite as well on a blue-sensi- 
tive emulsion as on an orthochromatic or a pan- 
chromatic one. The only advantage of the 
color-sensitive plate and filter is in cases where 
we do not wish to exaggerate atmosphere — a 
point which is generally of little importance, 
subjects of this class being ordinarily fore- 
ground studies. The exposures will be some- 
what longer than when the sun is visible, and 
development will be much the same. There is 
a wider choice of printing mediums than for 
sunlit snow, since here gum, carbon and oil are 



rahiable, the beauty and impressfoenesa of the 
scene not depending on the precise rendering of 

delicate gradations of light 

Whatever medium is chosen the color of the 
image is of great importance, for we are accus- 
tomed to associate blue with cold — not. how- 
ever, because of the effect on our noses and 
fingers. Ask the average person the color of 
sunlit snow and the answer will probably be, 
" White." Ask him the color of cast shadows 
on snow and he will reply, M Why, gray.* 1 

As a matter of fact the shadows on snow are 
of an intense blue, being, as has been explained, 
illuminated solely by reflected light from the 
sky; and the lights may range from white to 
crimson, depending on the character of the sun- 
light. The color of the lights reacts on our e< »1< >r 
sense to modify the apparent color of the shad- 
ows, so it is impossible to say that either lights 

or shadows have any definite and permanent 

color. Still, it is well for the photographer, 
who is limited to a monochrome rendering, 
to adhere to a white stock and a blue-black 
image, since he will thus approach more nearly 
to the psychic effect of snow than is otherwise 



possible, such a selection being advisable even 
in the case of snow under a dull light, the belief 
that snow is invariably white being so firmly 
rooted in the minds of most persons that they 
will resent any attempt to represent it other- 
wise. It is, however, possible at times — when 
working with sunlit snow — to employ a slightly 
yellowish paper for the support, thus enhancing 
the brilliance of the lights. 

Most authors, when writing on the subject of 
winter work, insist on the necessity for comfort, 
but this is by no means imperative. The writer 
once stood for nearly an hour in the snow, most 
inadequately dressed, with the thermometer at 
six degrees above zero and a vigorous wind 
blowing, in order to secure a picture. He was 
thoroughly uncomfortable, but the picture was 
a success and no ill effect followed ; but this is 
not recommended. It is, after all, well to be 
properly dressed to resist the cold, since, apart 
from the possibility of acquiring pneumonia, 
one cannot do good work when uncomfortable ; 
he is more apt to hurry the selection of the sub- 
ject and the making of the exposure, and the 
finished result will show the effects of haste, 



since it is at times necessary to wait for a pro- 
longed period in order to secure the arrange- 
ment of lighting and clouds necessary to the 
desired expression. 

To summarize, then, it may be said that sun- 
lit snow probably affords the most favorable of 
all subjects in the entire realm of landscape 

when pure aestheticism is the aim, whereas 

snow under a dull sky. or in storm, is hardly 
surpassed by any other type of subject for 
stimulating and dramatie possibilities; and that 
whereas the photographer who will extract its 
full meaning from the former must he a master 
craftsman, the one who will make full use of 
the opportunities offered by the latter must be 
a master artist, capable of feeling and expres- 
sing the strongest emotions of the human soul. 




From a Platinum Print 



The introduction of figures into landscape 
vastly extends the possibilites of expression, 
but these are very different in summer from 
what they are in winter, simply by reason of the 
difference in clothing. In winter the models 
must be clothed if a bizarre effect is to be 
avoided — in fact, they will usually insist on 
being clothed — whereas in summer nude or 
partly nude figures may be employed. A di- 
rect result of this is that in winter we are chiefly 
limited to such pictures as are descriptive or 
expressive of experiences within the range of 
actual human affairs; but in summer, using 
nude or partly draped figures, we can make 
excursions into the realm of imagination, peo- 
pling our pictures with fairies and dryads, 
fauns and satyrs, elves, nymphs and sprites, 
and, indeed, with all the wondrous dwellers in 
the world of myth and fancy. 



Landscape with Figures. It is. however; 
necessary to decide whether the picture is to bet 

landscape with figures or figures in a landscape 
setting, the latter verging on the realm of genre 
— "a picture which tells a story*'; and it not 
infrequently happens that we Bee a print which 
shows clearly that the artist lias been unable to 
determine which form of expression he would 
choose, the figures and the Betting warring 
with each other for attention, and the picture. 
between these two conflicting forces, falling 
to the ground. Unity must always he para- 
mount. In using figures to explain or to give 
force to a landscape it will Ik- obvious that their 
attire and actions should be in harmony with 
the landscape itself. City clothes .-ire as much 
out of place in the country as the garments of 
a farmer are in the city, and the soft and flow- 
ing draperies of (J reek mythology will har- 
monize as little with a rugged and bare 
mountain sierra as the furs of an Eskimo would 
with the African veldt. Though it may seem 
superfluous to mention this, it is nevertheless 
just Rich details that are often ignored by pho- 
tographers, with incongruous result; we can 



forgive Shakespeare for introducing striking 
clocks into ancient Rome, but lesser men must 
mind their P's and Q's. It is necessary also 
to study the inhabitants of a country with care, 
so that not only their garb but also their actions 
may harmonize with the idea to be expressed as 
well as with the character of the scene — and 
the two are not always the same.. Of course, it 
not infrequently happens that the figures tiikc 
their place naturally, without intervention on 
the part of the photographer; but such an oc- 
curence must not be counted on, and the cam- 
era user must be sufficiently equipped with 
knowledge to correct any errors that may creep 
in. One of the greatest faults with photog- 
raphers as well as writers is inattention to de- 
tail, and it is an error into which the average 
photographer is prone to fall. This does not 
mean " details " — though these are by no means 
to be ignored — but refers to the fact that insuf- 
ficient care is taken to make the component 
parts of the work historically, geographically 
and ethnically correct. Edward Lucas White 
is quoted as saying that he spent fifteen years in 
study in preparation for his' story "El Su- 

10 145 


premcs" and it is this spirit which prevent! i 

on from falling into such gross error 
characterize (he work of a writer of popular 
detective fiction when he speaks of being able 
to photograph at night because the camera had 
an ultra-rapid shutter and of using the ultra- 
violet rays for fog-piercing photography. Of 
course, a story or a picture may he meticulously 
correct and at the same time extremely dull: 
hut. other things being equal, the one in which 
there are no gross and obvious errors is the bet- 
ter. A wide field for discussion is here opened 

up. Far example, the u Morte d* Arthur" is 

historically inexact in every respect, but Mal- 
ory, by force of genius, has surrounded his 
legendary heroes and heroines with such an 
aura of romance thai they seem real people* 

We forget, in OUT delight in their courtly chiv- 
alry, thai they actually lived in mud huts. 
led in skins, and fought with clubs. \ot 
yone, however, is a Malory, and the safer 
plan is that of Defoe, who made sure of his 
detail and employed his genius to build great 
romances on a sure foundation of fact. 
The author would point out the erroneous- 



ness of the commonly held belief that when 
nude figures are used in a picture they must 
necessarily be female. The male figure is fully 
as beautiful to the seeing eye as the female, and, 
indeed, is more likely to be graceful and well 
constructed, since men are more given to physi- 
cal exercise than women. The writer has seen 
a man of about twenty years of age who might 
have posed, just as he stood, for any of the 
Greek sculptors, and was far more beautiful 
than any woman within the writer's experience ; 
no professional model of the studios ever ap- 
proached the grace and beauty of that slim 
young athlete, and the only statue of a woman 
which could be compared with him for com- 
bined physical perfection and high intellectual 
development is that Victory which is commonly 
misnamed a Venus — the one of Milo. 

In using nude models, however, there is one 
element which must receive careful attention — 
namely, the fact that no question of the model's 
personality may be allowed to obtrude itself. 
So soon as people begin to ask, " Who is it? " at 
that instant the model becomes simply a naked 
man or woman, and the picture becomes off en- 



Dye. It is said that Whistler used to draw a 
beautiful girl and then scratch his pencil hack 
and forth across the face, in order to force the 
spectator to look at other qualities in the work 
than mere beauty of feature: but it may he 
doubted if this practice is sound, for the vcry 
I'aet of the face being obliterated would he 
likely to draw attention to it, and the photog- 
rapher will do well to employ other means for 
concentrating the interest elsewhere. George 
Bernard Shaw lias well said that turning the 
model's face away gives her an unpleasant air 
of doing something she is ashamed of, and it is 
worth Doting that true modesty docs not con- 
sist, as most people think, in being ashamed of 
one's body, hut in being unconscious of it. If 
tlie artist can make his model seem unconscious 
of the fact that he or she lias no clothes on, 
there will he no slightest suggestion of immod- 
l sty, and no pains are too great to take to this 
end, for there are few things in art more ohjec- 
tionahlc than evident nakedness. Xumerous 

methods are available for this purpose, among 

them being softening of the outlines through 

the- use of an uncorrected lens, ha\ ing the modd 



evidently engaged in some action, having the 
model's attention directed definitely at some 
object or toward some particular spot, or mak- 
ing the figure small in comparison with the 
surroundings; as well as using several figures, 
the attention being distributed among them. 
Of course, two or more of these methods may 
be employed in one picture, but whatever plan 
is followed care must be taken to see that it is 
effective, and it may generally be stated that 
the model should not be too clearly seen — that 
is, the figure must either be softened as to out- 
line or else partly hidden in shadow. It is, 
further, a fundamental law of psychology that 
suggestion is more powerful than delineation, 
and artists have long known that it is not what 
we see but what we imagine that makes the 
strongest impression. From this it follows that 
a nude figure is not so suggestive — in the op- 
probrious sense of the word — as a partly draped 
one ; the figure should be entirely nude or else 
fully draped, or extra pains will be necessary 
to avoid the feeling of impropriety. Still fur- 
ther, it may be said that although the nude is 
a subject which sooner or later attracts nearly 



all pictorial photographers, the camera is the 
least satisfactory of all mediums of expression 

for this class of work, its very literalneas mak- 
ing it the most difficult of all to handle. How- 
ever, it is possible to produce photographs 
including nude figures which are not only thor- 
oughly unobjectionable, but are even very 
beautiful and expressive. George Du Maurier 

said that the spectacle of Trilby posing for the 
figure was " a thing to * * * sober Silcnus 
and chasten Jove himself," and it is perfectly 
true that a fine and beautiful figure, if vreO 
presented, is far less objectionable than the 
same figure in modern costume — as modern 
costume so often is seen. In this connection it 
is interesting to note that the power of sug- 
gestion is proved by the fact, observed by trav- 
elers, that among savage tribes chastity is most 
common where fewest clothes are worn, being, in 

, in inverse ratio to the amount of covering 
on the bodies of the members of the tribe, as 

dictated by local custom; and that the introduc- 
tion of Christianity- or rather of the accom- 
panying garments — is followed by a decline in 
moral standards. So, though nude figures are 


difficult to treat well — since it must be done so 
admirably as to overcome the latent inheritance 
from our Puritan ancestors — if they are well 
treated they afford great opportunities for fine 
and noble expression. 

It has been said that figures may be used to 
explain a landscape, and it ijs not difficult to 
understand how this may be the case. Refer- 
ring, for example, to A Mountain Meadow 
(page 216), suppose the farmer and the hay- 
rake to be lacking, and it will at once be clear 
that, although the scene will still be of a farm- 
ing country, it will not be so definitely and 
positively so, and much of the force of the pic- 
ture will be lost. In like manner, a cow-puncher 
or an Indian in the West, a fisherman along the 
coast, or any denizen of a particular locality, 
may serve to identify the spot and at the same 
time to add vigor and emphasis to the expres- 
sion of the fundamental idea or emotion. 

In the case of A Country Road (page 104) 
the figure is introduced solely to give vitality 
to the scene, and this indicates a very useful 
function of figures. Here the picture is very 
evidently precisely what the title says : the old 


tan, the overhanging tree, the distent hills, 

and the winding path beside the road all Com- 
bine to make elear the character of the spot: 
but an empty road is apt to be bald and unin- 
teresting, so the girl was brought in to add an 
element of interest, to show that this is it ally 
and truly a road, leading somewhere, and the 
human factor tends to start a train of thought. 
The spectator finds himself unconsciously 
linked up with the joys and sorrows, the hopes 
and fears, the work, the play, the pains and the 
pleasures of those who travel the road. It must 
not be supposed that all this was in the photog- 
rapher's mind at the time of taking the picture 
(in fact, it may be doubted if any artist I -vcr 
deliberately synthesized a picture in this fash- 
ion, and we may be fairly sure that if lie did the 
result was a failure) ; but it is simply the ease 
that he felt the appeal of the road, and made 
this photograph because it seemed good to him. 
Evidently, the fact of the model being a young 
girl rather than a bent old man throws the » i: 
tiim nt of the picture toward the lighter, more 
joyous things of life, and this particular model 

was used men ly because the photographer felt 



joyous on that occasion ; he was well and happy, 
and melancholy had no part in his life, and feel- 
ing that way he undertook to express himself, 
as unconsciously as a bird sings or a child plays. 
It is thus that the artist should always work, 
and the question of whether or not this is a 
great picture does not enter into the matter at 
all. To be sure, it is not a great picture ; it is 
not epic but lyric — allegro rather than maes- 
toso. But it is at all events a sincere expression 
of the spirit which animated the photographer 
at the time when it was taken, and so may per- 
haps serve to remind someone of pleasant, if 
not lofty, thoughts and experiences. 

Figures in Landscape. — So figures may 
serve to emphasize or explain a landscape, and 
in like manner a landscape setting may give 
.force to the thought or emotion expressed by a 
figure, as in Hassim Seeks the Genie of the 
Rocks (page 116), where the setting is evi- 
dently explanatory, or in The Bat (page 154) , 
where the suggestion of a cave behind the figure 
helps to carry out the dark and terrible thought 
of vampires and all evil things of the night. It 
will be seen that the latter picture depends far 



more on the spectator's Imagination than the 
former; true, both require some familiarity with 
legend, but the Ilussim is the more literal of 
the two; there is less mystery and shirring of 
detail, less of empty shadows and formless out- 
line, and the picture as a whole belongs in the 
realms of genre rather than ill the world of the 
imagination. This is by DO means to belittle 
the success of the Hassim, for the artist has 
accomplished what he set out to do — that is, to 
illustrate a particular passage of a particular 
story — no light task, for Eastern romance is in 
itself so full of wonder that the mere name is one 
to conjure with, hut few artists have shown the 
imaginative power which is characteristic of 
Mrs. Kiisebier's work. So, too, in Mrs. Brig- 
man's remarkable- pictures, taken in the moun- 
tains of California, the landscape generally 
serves merely as a setting for the figure, hut it 
is nevertheless the case that the one is so will 
fitted to the other than any change or modifica- 
tion of the arrangement would vitiate the 

(lenrc. — Genre is sometimes defined, is has 

been suggested, as u I picture which tells a 



story," but this is not quite complete, for it 
actually comprises more than mere story-tell- 
ing, the dictionary definition being, " a style of 
painting or other art illustrative of common 
life " ; so it will be seen that there is not neces- 
sarily any story present, though, of course, 
such may exist. Many of the paintings of the 
Dutch artists are merely illustrative of man- 
ners and customs, whereas others are definitely 
narrative, and it is not always easy to say just 
where the dividing line is found. It has been 
suggested that a determining factor may be 
found in the question of a title ; if one is neces- 
sary, the picture falls into the story-telling 
class; but if it is satisfactory without verbal 
explanation, it is purely and simply illustra- 
tive. This is by no means a sound guide, 
though, for a picture may tell a story quite well 
without words. Meissonier's La Rioce is quite 
definitely a brawl, even though the title may 
remain entirely unknown, and the only con- 
clusion we can reach is that the way to dis- 
tinguish between illustrative and narrative 
pictures is, curiously enough, to look at them! 
A well-known painter has said: " The pic- 



tUN which needs a title should never have I 

painted "- -a view which is gaining acceptance 

at the present time, but one with which the 
writer cannot altogether agree. The idea, of 
eourse, is that graphic art should not infringe 

on tlie domain of literary art hut should remain 
entirely a matter of visual perception; hut this 
attitude, though fundamentally sound, is ca- 
pable of being carried to excess. Originally 
all art was literary in character: i'ov the early 

painters devoted themselves to the service of 
the Church, and their effort was to make the 
terrors of hell and the joys of heaven more vivid 
to the worshippers who saw their altar-pi 
and frescos, and to depict incidents in the lives 
of the saints, with the purpose of stimulating 
religious fervor. This was pure story-telling. 
Gradually, however, painters came to realize 
that there were other subjects of interest, quite 

as worthy of their attention as the Virgin and 
the saints, and art became more general in its 
choice of material, finding its subject-matter in 

Thf ni.nk. t-crirK and fishermen, 

Thr ihepberdi Bind the laflort, too, 



From a Gum Print 


though the literary idea still persisted. With 
the advent of photography painters realized 
that here was a medium which could show the 
affairs of daily life with far greater fidelity 
than the brush. Whether for this reason or for 
another, they began to turn their attention to 
other things, one feature of this change of pur- 
pose being the advent of the Post-Impression- 
ists, Cubists, Futurists and similar schools, who, 
seeing that form is the basis of literary painting, 
discard form altogether or distort it beyond 
recognition and rely solely on pattern and 
color. It is ridiculous to suppose that any 
graphic art which appeals to the intellect can 
ever entirely ignore form, and the temporary 
popularity of these abnormal manifestations of 
art is due partly to the very human desire for 
novelty — a desire which is at the root of all true 
progress. The chief fault in the matter lies 
with the public that accepts these weird produc- 
tions with the same serious consideration that 
would be accorded to true works of art. 

However, aside from these abnormal paint- 
ers, many genuine artists, by no means unbal- 
anced, and quite free from any suspicion of 



charlatanry, have set themselves to establish a 

type of painting which is to be free from any 

literary relationship, though it may be doubted 
if the effort will ever he fully successful. An 
pointed out in a former chapter, graphic art 
appeals to the intellect as well as to the senses, 
and in ignoring the intellectual side the artist 
would seem to be deliberately discarding one 
valuable portion of his power of affecting the 
spectator and of delivering his message. This 
is one reason for the author's refusal to sub- 
scribe to the idea that a picture should neces- 
sarily be complete without a title; the brain 
receives impressions in various ways, and the 
author holds that the chief end of art is to con- 
vey an impression, the means being of less 
importance than the accomplishment of the 

purpose. To say that graphic art must never 

call literary art to its aid is precisely on a par 
witli saying that literary art must never depend 
for assistance on music -that poetry must al- 
\\ -ays be recited, never Sling. 

The writer cheerfully admits that this atti- 
lude will not find Favor among modern artists. 

but will be termed reactionary, especially by 



the ultra-modern among photographers ; never- 
theless he insists that when one starts out to do 
a tiling the main point is to accomplish the pur- 
pose regardless of the method, provided, of 
course, that it can be done without inflicting 
undue hardship on another, a danger which 
does not exist in the realm of art — no one need 
look at a picture unless he wants to. It was 
said of Mark Twain that " he would split an 
infinitive with anyone," and no great artist has 
ever been a purist in style, even Shakespeare at 
times using faulty grammar. It is also admit- 
ted that adherence to the idea that a picture 
may properly be literary will not bring one the 
favor of exhibitions — to be popular one must 
shout with the mob, as Mr. Pickwick said, and 
if there are two mobs shout with the larger. 
But the true artist is the one who has a vision 
and strives to express it, and to him " the shout- 
ing cities " are of as little worth as they proved 
to Diego Valdez. However, it must not be 
supposed that eccentricity is necessarily a sign 
of genius; it may quite as well be, and more 
often is, a symptom of mental weakness. The 
painter or sculptor who is unable to attract 



attention by unusual mental powers at times 
endeavors to accomplish this result by mere 
eccentricity (the originator of the post-im- 
pressionist school is said to have admitted that 
he is a faker), but such a one may be distin- 
guished from the original thinker by the fact 
that the latter does not care whether he attracts 
attention or not. Michael Faraday once dem- 
onstrated a newly discovered scientific princi- 
ple to a group of students, showed them a 
working model which he had constructed to 
indicate the application of the principle, and 
then said: " We will now turn this over to the 
Calculators." The original worker in art is 
equally careless of popular applause. 

Since gen re work is to be illustrative of com- 
mon life, it must almost inevitably include a 
figure or figures, and given this proviso, there 
seems to be little limit to the possibilities of this 
form of expression, as little, in fact, as there is 
to life itself, for genre may impinge on cither 
landscape or portraiture. Repin'fl pain' 
The Co88acW Reply to the Sultan of Turkey, 

is fundamentally genre, hut the greater portion 

of the interest lies in the wonderful depiction 



of the individuals forming the group. It is im- 
possible to look at the picture and not under- 
stand the character of each man included, from 
the burly, jovial savage to the lean, reserved 
and maliciously cruel barbarian — even to the 
slighter, more educated, but no less dangerous 
clerk who writes the reply: each one is a fighter, 
from choice and predilection, and no one of 
them would we care to meet alone at night. 
This is genre, but it is also portraiture of no 
mean order, and, in fact, genre should usually 
fulfil this requirement, for the circumstances 
surrounding the individual and the influences 
at work in his life leave their impress on his 
features, and his portrait is to that extent ex- 
planatory of the time and place in which he 

Nevertheless it must not be supposed that 
portraiture is imperative in this class of work, 
for one of the greatest masters of genre — if, in- 
deed, he was not the greatest of them all — Jean 
Francois Millet, habitually slighted the faces 
of his models, brushing them in with broad 
strokes, and depending for his expression of 
character rather on pose and action, on the main 
11 161 


organic lines of the individual, than on facial 
markings. Evidently Millet's is the more pow- 
erful mode of expression, for, as lias already 
been pointed out, the more detail we can omit 
the letter, provided the effect does not suffer; 
hut not everyone is a Millet, and the master can 
do what the scholars cannot. 

Still another style of genre is to be found in 
a war poster by Joseph Pennell, in which the 
expression depends on showing the accomplish- 
ments of man rather than man himself. A bat- 
tleship, an airplane, railroad tracks and sundry 
other works of man's hands combine to make a 
most forceful appeal; but the only indication 
of human beings is found in a few small figures, 
so minute as hardly to be recognizable as nun. 
Some may say that since suggestion is more 
powerful than delineation this last form of 
genre is the best, but the writer is not prepared 
to agree with this idea. It is, however , s rary 
strong style, and deserves the attention of the 
camera worker. 

Generally speaking, figures will play an im- 
portant role in genre, and, of course, due at- 
tention must be paid that they harmonize with 
l SI 


the scheme of the picture, not merely in pose 
and dress (this is obvious) but also in feature, 
when the face is to be made use of in the effort 
toward expression, this being a matter which 
is too often overlooked. The writer has seen an 
obvious city girl posing as a milk-maid — prop- 
erly dressed for the part, to be sure — and has 
frequently seen photographs in which an un- 
mistakable Caucasian took the part of a Jap- 
anese. Such an effect is hardly likely to be 
convincing, nor is the result impressive when a 
twentieth-century damsel poses as a medieval 
chatelaine unless the artist has enough appre- 
ciation to select a model of suitable type as well 
as to secure the proper setting and attire. In 
fact, the worker who essays genre must be as 
familiar with his subject as the writer who 
would avoid anachronisms; he must know his 
people, the clothes they wear, the surroundings 
in which they live, and the way they act in 
given circumstances. Only thus can he keep 
from falling into such absurdities as are seen in 
the " movies," where a pleasant, chubby-faced 
youngster takes the part of a Western " bad 
man," where cow-punchers carry canteens in 



well-watered cm unit ry, where the sheriff loses 
the trail of a horse and rider OO a dusty road, 
and where (acme of carelessness) the slamming 
of a door shakes a " stone " wall. There in 
infinite details connected with the simplest act 
of our daily lives, and one not familiar with 
them can easily overlook some apparently 
trilling tiling which, nevertheless, will spoil the 
effect so far as those acquainted with the pro- 
cedure are concerned. 

Suppose, for example, an artist should show 
a fisherman using a deep-sea rod and red on a 
trout stream, a photographer using a studio 
camer a to photograph an automobile race, or 
an Indian portaging by means of a tnmp-line, 
with the pack resting on his shoulders: tin 
suit would be absurd to one who knows how 
these things are done, yet any one of these 
mistakes might readily be made by a person 
who had not sufficiently observed, and mifffrftf 
quite on a par with these are made by pho- 
tographcrs who think hard work tin gome For 
this reason it is perhaps best for the photog- 
rapher to select his subjects from near home 
and to leave the portrayal of foreign lands to 



those who are familiar with them; he will then 
be acquainted with the customs of the persons 
portrayed, and the models will act their accus- 
tomed parts in life. The man who travels 
abroad and returns with snapshots of Japanese 
geisha and French laveuses is not showing us 
genre; interesting as his prints may be, they are 
merely records of facts, and genre, like all other 
styles of art, must be inspired by imagination 
and understanding. The Dutch masters of 
genre did not travel afield for their material, 
but took what lay at hand, the folk of the 
Netherlands, as they went about their daily 
affairs in home or tavern, furnishing the needed 
inspiration. The photographer who aspires to 
success in this realm will be well advised to fol- 
low their example. Clarence White has done 
this, and some of his pictures of domestic genre 
are both illuminating and valuable records, pos- 
sessing as well great sympathy and a high 
measure of pictorial quality, shown in their ex- 
quisite feeling for the rendering of light and the 
sensitiveness of the artist to the decorative value 
of a choice pattern, Blind Man's Buff (page 
140), being an especially delightful example. 



Illustration. — Allied to genre but of a more 

ephemeral nature is illustration, which within 
tlir past few years, largely through the work of 
Lejaren k Hiller, has conu- to take a notable 
place in the productions of the camera, both for 
the illustration of realistic fiction and for adver- 
tising illustration. In fact as an aid to adver- 
tising the camera has possibilities which have 
not yet been fully explored; and the writer be- 
lieves that in time photography will almost if 
not quite supplant draughtsmanship lor this 
purpose, since it can show not only the article 
used but also its application to daily life in a 
far more convincing manner and with a higher 
degree of verisimilitude than is possible with 
drawing. In this connection it is interesting to 
note the increasing enthusiasm on the part of 
advertisers for the Boft-focufl lens — an article 
which but a few years ago was despised and 
derided by all but a few advanced camera 
users. This novel popularity is due partly to 
the fact that the general public is beginning to 
appreciate the more artistic quality of soft 
definition and partly to the more intelligent use 
of this objective, photographers now striving to 


secure the pleasing softness characteristic of 
the normal human eye rather than the excessive 
diffusion given by an uncorrected lens when 
its possibilities are overdone. 

Whatever may be the result as regards ad- 
vertising illustration, the writer does not believe 
that the camera will ever take the draughts- 
man's place for the illustration of imaginative 
literature. In the first place, the difficulties of 
securing suitable settings are considerable, as 
may be understood if we consider the expense 
and labor involved in arranging and costuming, 
say, the " Morte d' Arthur," and bear in mind 
that this is by no means an extreme example of 
what would be required. In the next place, it 
would be far from easy to secure satisfactory 
models, unless the scene and action were of the 
present time and approximately of the location 
of the story. Finally, the most conspicuous of 
all the disadvantages under which photography 
labors is its literalness. This power of delineat- 
ing with exactness what is placed before it gives 
the camera a tremendous advantage in adver- 
tising, portraiture and many other fields, but 
limits its value sadly in the illustration of works 



of the imagination. It is impossible to 00H- 
e "The Rime of the Aneient Mariner," 
•• Tin- Fall of the House of Usher/' " Paradise 
Lost," "The Culprit Fay," or the "Divine 
Comedy M being satisfactorily illustrated by 
photography. It is, of course, true that models 
could be clothed, posed and photographed in 
such fashion as to express the outward and 
visible features of these works, but the inward 
soul of the story or poem would, it is to be 
feared, remain beyond the grasp of the lens aud 
plate. Prophecy is dangerous, and it is a risky 
matter to dogmatize; bill the author's belief is 
against the complete replacement of drawing 
by photography in illustrative work. The fact 
that the illustrations are obviously photographs 
makes it at ouce evident that they represent 
actual persons and actual places, and immedi- 
ately the observer is brought down from the 
world of fancy to that of Pact So, though the 

camera may do well in illustrating realistic fac- 
tion, it cannot be expected to succeed in visual- 
ising imaginative work: one cannot make a silk 
purse out of a sow's ear. 

In illustration the chief difficulty is. as might 

From a Platinum Print 


be supposed, to find satisfactory models. Cos- 
tumes and backgrounds, as well as accessories, 
can be made for the purpose; and when one is 
working in any particular section of the coun- 
try, with the idea of illustrating the life of that 
region, it is comparatively easy to find persons 
of the desired types, but it is not always so easy 
to secure, in a city, models capable of taking 
the part of actors in any given story or adver- 
tising plan. Practically all the photographers 
who do work of this sort have lists of models 
with brief descriptions and photographs of the 
individuals, and notes as to the possibilities 
which they offer, such lists being imperative 
if the photographer is to be prepared to do 
work to order, since both advertising and fic- 
tion illustration are usually done on a short 
schedule. The writer has been called upon to 
turn out an illustration within twenty- four 
hours after receiving the order, and in such 
cases there is no time in which to go looking for 
suitable models. No less important than a list 
of models is a file of releases, that is, signed 
statements by the models giving permission for 
the use of their pictures for the purpose de- 



sired; as it sometimes happens that a model will 
!• suit for damages against the photog- 
rapher, and unless such a r< at hand the 
illustrator may be put to considerable trouble 
and expense. It is well to have a form release 
drawn up by a good lawyer, and have it Signed 
by all the models used in a given picture, this 
being, in fact, a v< ssary precaution. 

Evidently, the photographer must be famil- 
iar not only with the physical appearance of the 
models but also with the requirements of the 
advertiser, and this involves more study than 
might be expected, since there are numerous 
technical points to be observed which would 
ordinarily escape notice. Thus, in making a 
photograph of, Bay, a pair of "hoes, it is n< 

sary to select a model with graceful feet, 
at the same time to learn what particular fea- 
tures of the shoe are to he emphasized and 
what are to be di I whether to lay si 

on the slim and graceful lines of a dress shoe, 
or on the sturdy comfort of a walking-boot. 

Advertisers are naturally desirous of calling 
attention to the best features of their prod- 
uct, whether these be the I <>\' a weD- 


designed shoe or the ease of control and 
economy of an automobile. The writer's per- 
sonal feeling is that advertising is much over- 
done in this country. To look through the 
advertising pages of the modern magazine 
arouses in him the same, feeling as does an 
encounter with a clerk or a salesman who is 
determined to force a sale — that is, a feeling of 
resentment and a determination not to buy the 
article forced. He is violently opposed to the 
disfigurement of our cities with blazing, wink- 
ing electric signs and of our countryside with 
huge billboards insisting that the passer buy a 
home in Mosquitohurst-by-the-Sea or inflict on 
his children the modem descendant of that 
Pain- Killer which Tom Sawyer thought better 
adapted to the feline than to the human species ; 
but there can be no doubt that the business of 
making photographic illustrations for advertis- 
ing is a large, growing and profitable one, which 
holds considerable financial rewards for the 
photographer who will take it up with persis- 
tence and enthusiasm, conjoined with reason- 
able ability. 

The writer has said that he does not believe 


photography capable of supplanting draughts- 
manship in the illustration of imaginative lit- 
erature, but much has been done in the illustra- 
tion of realistic* fiction of the present clay. 
Attention is called in particular to the Illustra- 
tion for a Story (facing page 28), this having 
been made by Mr. Hiller to accompany Joseph 
Hergesheimer's "Paterfamilias," which ap- 
peared in the Saturday Evening Post. A 
great many workers, including the writer, have 
been convinced for years that such aclil 
ments were possible; and, in fact, work of thifl 
sort had been done in the past by Clarence 
White, A. Radclyffe Dugmore and Karl 
Struts, who have illustrated books and stories. 
Still, so far as the writer knows, this work has 
been sporadic and local in character, Mr. 1 1 ilk r 
h( ing the first to make a commercial proposi- 
tion of it and to show the energy and force 
necessary to make a business success in this 
direction. One of the interesting character- 
istics of Mr. Hiller's work is his frequent use 
of cross-lighting to emphasize details that 
would otherwise be hidden or to give snap and 
brilliance to the picture. This is in effed which 



is most valuable if well done, but it must be 
carefully handled if the picture is not to break 
up into a heterogeneous collection of unrelated 

The illustration reproduced herewith shows 
admirably one feature of this class of work 
which differentiates it from most others — 
namely, the fact that such photographs are 
primarily photographs of action. This does 
not mean that the action is necessarily violent ; 
it may consist merely of an interchange of 
ideas, but there is nevertheless a very distinct 
separation between such pictures and land- 
scapes or portraits. This fact necessitates the 
power on the part of the photographer of pro- 
jecting his personality into the minds of the 
actors, and it is evidently of great importance 
that the models be capable not merely of look- 
ing but also of acting their parts. Therefore, 
it is desirable that some record be kept — by 
photographers taking up this work profes- 
sionally — of the abilities of different models in 
this direction. In actual work the writer al- 
ways explains to the models beforehand the 
idea and purpose of the picture, reserving to 



himself the privilege of suggesting changes in 

or expression; and this plan is found to 
work well, since it relieves the photographer of 
a certain amount of effort, stimulates the 
models to a more enthusiastic cooperation, and 

often results in valuahl, itionfl from the 

models themselves, besides flattering their sdf- 

m to some extent and making them readier 
to work in that particular studio. Some pho- 
tographers prefer to direct the action step by 
step, calling for a certain attitude or expression 
without giving a reason; but, as in any line, 
there is a vast difference between the worker 

w ho is animated by enthusiasm and the one who 
merely goes through the motions for the Bake 
of the money, and anything which makes the 
studio pleasing to the models is sine to h 
fleeted in the picture. It is <,f as much im- 
portance in illustration as in portraiture to 
work with soreness and decision, for a model 
; s almost as easily confi: I siltcr. and any 

ons or jerky behavior is apt to he reflected 

in the finished result, certainty of action on the 

photographer's part helping to secure case on 

the mod' 



Work of this character is mostly done in the 
studio, though the photographer will sometimes 
find it convenient to go out for settings. Still, 
it is generally best to depend on working in one 
definite place, and furniture or accessories can 
be bought or rented, or even constructed to 
order, for a carpenter shop will be found al- 
most a necessity if much work is to be done. 
The writer prefers to use twin-arc lamps for 
illumination, the ones employed having a spec- 
trum closely approximating that of daylight, 
and giving so intense a light that with a fast 
panchromatic plate, a lens working a F/5.5, 
and a fully correcting ray-filter, exposures of 
one second are possible, correct color values 
being thus secured. It will also be found very 
advantageous to have a spotlight, or even sev- 
eral, so that a strong illumination may be con- 
centrated on some particular area if desired, 
and a 1000-watt and a 500-watt Mazda are 
found to be helpful at times, either in addition 
to the arcs or by themselves. In the studio an 
eight by ten view camera is ordinarily used, and 
for outside work a four by five Graflex, the fin- 
ished prints being nearly always eight by ten. 



Tank development of the plates is invariably 
employed, and the prints arc almost always on 
glossy paper, though in some instances a differ- 
ent surface may be required for some special 
purpose. An automatic printing-machine and 
an enlarging apparatus are almost imperative. 
It not infrequently happens that it is impos- 
sible to secure the desired effect by straight 
photography, and a knowledge of retouching 
and air-brush work, as well as of the method of 
combining two or more negatives, will be found 
desirable. The writer's own method of com- 
bination printing is to make a print from eaeb 
negative, cut out with a sharp knife the portion 
of one wbieb is to be transferred to the other. 
paste it in place, and eopy the whole, retouch- 
ing the junction on the new negative, though 
other workers prefer different methods. How- 
ever, each worker, in tbis as in other lines, will 
develop his own technic. 



The possibilities of artistic expression are 
more limited in architectural photography than 
in either landscape or portraiture, for two rea- 
sons. In the first place, the photographer is 
more nearly restricted to straight photog- 
raphy, it being, as a rule, inadvisable to take 
great liberties with the relative values, and 
practically out of the question to modify lines 
and masses, as can so frequently be done in 
other branches of graphic art. In other words, 
photography, so far as it is concerned with 
architecture, approaches more closely to record 
work than is the case with other types of sub- 
ject, and record work, though valuable and 
at times interesting, cannot rise to the highest 
levels of art. In the next place, the portrait 
or landscape photographer is striving to ex- 
press the forces of nature, whereas the one who 
chooses architecture concerns himself almost 

altogether with the work of men, and the phys- 
12 177 


ical manifestations of the efforts of human 
beings arc never on so tfrand and magnificent 
a scale as those of the vast orogenic or ethno- 
genic forces that have combined through past 
ages to make the world in which we live. The 
power required to construct the Great .Pyra- 
mid is infinitesimal compared to that necessary 
to lift a mountain chain from the hed of the 
ocean, and the forces operating to produce a 
man are infinitely greater and more complex 
than those that are responsible for the erection 
of a cathedral. It will thus be seen that the 
architectural photographer has deliberately 
handicapped himself by the selection of a small 
— or relatively small — subject, and the results 
of his efforts can never he so impressive as 
those secured where the originating forces are 
of a greater order of magnitude. 

The architectural worker, however, has ab- 
solute freedom in his choice of subject within 
the limits assumed, and can decide for himself 
whether he will labor to express the ideals of 
past civilizations through the magnificent ruins 
of Egypt and Greece, the religious fervor of 

the Middle \ | shown in the cathedrals of 



Europe, or the rush and hurry of modern life 
which find expression in the office buildings of 
our great cities. On the wall of the writer's 
study hang two photographs, one showing the 
peaked roofs of Meissen (page 178), the other 
the Flatiron Building (page 190) its tall, 
straight, slim lines contrasting with the twisted 
branches of the trees in Madison Square, 
through which it is seen. These two pictures 
represent entirely different attitudes of mind 
on the part of the builders, and to that extent 
are expressive; the one showing the medieval 
mind, to which the grotesque appealed strongly, 
the other the strictly utilitarian point of view 
characteristic of the great centers of the New 
World. Neither of them, however, can be con- 
sidered as stimulating as might be the case with 
landscape, nor is either as fully illuminating as, 
say, a portrait by Frans Hals or Velasquez 
or a good photograph of a modern business 
man. Of course, there is the advantage that 
the old point of view is interpreted for us to- 
day through architecture; it would be difficult 
to secure a good photograph of a Dutch bur- 
gher or a Spanish grandee of the seventeenth 



irntury. and architecture is more durable than 

painting. From all this it follows that an 
architectural photograph enjoys about the 
same artistic status as a copy of a painting — 
a little higher, perhaps, since selection enteri 
to some extent into architectural photography; 
but there is no opportunity in either of these 
for original thought. 

The writer is not of those who think ruins 
necessary to romance. A magnificent architec- 
tural work is far more impressive and more 
truly representative in its perfection than in a 
state of partial destruction, whether through 
the action of the elements or by savant men: 
and the artist is the one who sees romance in the 
things of everyday life. Nothing is invariably 

and in all circumstances ugly. Lower New 

York is as baldly utilitarian as a plow; but, 

from a Hudson River ferry-boat in a winter 

twilight, its tall buildings shining with reflected 
light and its myriad windows aglow, the deep 
blue sky above and the dark water beneath, it 
becomes a rentable fairyland: and though a 
noon-day photograph would he utterly unin- 
teresting — to an artist one taken at the later 




From a Platinum Print 


hour would be as true an interpretation of one 
phase of New York, and would at the same 
time be a picture of rare beauty. So architec- 
tural photography may be considered as rec- 
ord work of the highest order, the camera user 
having it in his power to rise above the banali- 
ties of the ordinary maker of record photo- 
graphs and, with genuine sympathy, to select 
the point of view, the lighting and the treat- 
ment which will best express what he sees in the 
original — the dreams and hopes, the aspira- 
tions and the reverence, of the men who labored 
to erect a monument to the God of their wor- 
ship — whether the bloodthirsty deity of the 
savage, the Christian God of the Middle Ages, 
or, as is too often the case, the Mammon of the 
twentieth century — since the religious spirit of 
to-day expresses itself rather in lifting and 
aiding its fellowmen, and leaves to lower mo- 
tives the piling of steel and stone. 

Since, then, sympathetic architectural pho- 
tography is chiefly a matter of selection, we 
may consider what aspects are most likely to 
afford the desired effect, and the first thing to 
offer itself for discussion is the question of 



lighting. The writer once beard of a man who 

was going traveling and wished t<> keep records 
of the interesting buildings i<> be Been, He, 

theref o re, procured a small camera and got the 
salesman to show him how to use it — that is, to 
load and unload the roll-holder and to deter- 
mine the correct exposure. After sour months 
of travel he had the films, several bundled in 
number, developed and printed, and found 
that the results were almost without exception 
excellent. A year or two later he again went 
traveling and took the camera along, but this 
time the prints proved practically worthless — 
technically good, but dull and uninteresting. 
On his consulting a friend, the latter pointed 
out to him that on the first occasion he had man- 
aged, (juite fortuitously, to make his exposure g 
00 such a manner as to secure an impression of 
relief in the pictures, whereas on the second 

trip this was lacking, the buildings seeming 
Hat, as if cut out and pasted oo the background 

A little consideration will show that the ap- 
pearance of solidity in B building — so far a 

rior view is concerned — will best be ob- 
tained by choosing a standpoint which allows 



two sides of the structure to be seen in the print, 
and selecting such a quality and direction of 
light that the protuberances of the suface cast 
shadows toward the camera. That is, if the 
building faces due south, the camera will point 
either northeast or northwest (approximately) 
and the exposure will be made, in the former 
case, about nine or ten in the moning, and in the 
latter about two or three in the afternoon. This 
of course, is elementary, being on a par with 
the tricks of the scene painter. It at least 
serves to indicate that one requirement in 
architectural work, more perhaps than in any 
other branch of photography, is a feeling of 
solidity, a sense of three dimensions. To be 
sure, it is not always possible to choose the 
angle of the light, especially in working within 
a building; yet, even so, a great deal can be ac- 
complished by proper attention to the time, for 
sunlight falling through a window will often 
illuminate and vivify an interior marvelously, 
both directly and by the light which is reflected 
from the floor on the ceiling and walls. It is, 
therefore, recommended that a piece of archi- 
tecture be carefully studied under various 



lights, and even be photographed repeatedly 
befoiv the final exposure ia made, for casual 
off-hand snapshotting is no more likely to 
bring good results than in landscape or por- 
traiture — in fact, is even less so, for a landscape 
or a portrait ean sometimes be pulled together 
and made into a picture by judieious printing, 
whereas it is rare to find this the case Witt 

A serious fault which is far too common in 
this class of work is the use of a lens of too short 
a focal length, due to a desire to include too 
1 1 nidi, the result being that perspective is ex- 
aggerated and the building appears excessively 
long. It is not generally possible to use a lens 
of as great a focal length for architecture as 
for landscape or portraiture, but it is tar better 
lect such portions of the subject as are in- 
teresting and harmonious and to concentrate 
the alt dit ion on them than to endeavor to in- 
clude the entire interior of a cathedral; a 
doorway will often he found to offer greater 
artistic possibilities than the whole building, if 
the inelusinn of the latter requires, say, an 
eight-inch lens on an 8X10 plate. In art the 


part is often greater than the whole. If the 
photographer can afford it he will do well to 
carry several lenses of different focal lengths, 
and the writer's choice for an 8X10 plate would 
be about twelve inches, sixteen inches, and nine- 
teen inches or twenty inches, though each 
worker will have to determine for himself what 
combination best suits his purposes, the selec- 
tion of lenses depending to some extent on the 
class of building chosen for interpretation. 

Whatever the focal lengths of the lenses 
used, they should be doublets, since distortion, 
though not likely to be conspicuous with a 
twenty-inch lens on an 8X10 plate, will be de- 
cidedly apparent with one of so short a focal 
length as twelve inches, especially if straight 
lines come near the edges of the picture. Of 
course, the definition will be more precise in 
architectural work than in landscape or por- 
traiture — the nearer we approach to record 
work the more exact the definition must be ; but 
there is no need of using the unpleasantly sharp 
drawing of the anastigmat, so in selecting a 
lens the worker will do well to choose one of the 
numerous soft-focus lenses available, though 


X 1 ** 



it will rarely be employed in such a manner as 
to give the maximum diffusion of which it is 
capable. Incidentally, it may he remarked that 
a piece of apparatus which will be very useful 
is a pocket electric flash-lamp -familiarly 
known as a squirt-lamp — for in many instances 
the interior of a building will be so dark as to 
render focussing difficult, but the lamp may he 
placed wherever desired and may readily be 
focussed on. 

A fault which is almost as common as the 
use of a lens of too short focal length is the 
choice of too high a standpoint. Here, as in 
portraiture, the photographer is apt to consider 
his own convenience more than the effect to be 
iecured, and sets up the camera at a height 
whkh brings the ground glass approximately 
opposite his eyes, with the result that the floor 
appears to slope upward in the print. If an 
I i is heing photographed this fault is of 
less importance, since the camera is gene rally 
farther from the subject than when working 
indoors; but in any case it is to be avoided, and 
;i viewpoint somewhat lower than the photog- 
rapher's eye is usually to be preferred, the fore- 



ground being thus foreshortened and a better 
aspect secured. The same thing holds true in 
architecture as elsewhere — that a low horizon 
line tends to give a sense of height and dignity, 
and it is worth noting that the effect, though 
closely similar, is not the same if the front of 
the camera be elevated as if the whole instru- 
ment be lowered. 

The author prefers a backed panchromatic 
plate to any other for this class of work. It is 
almost imperative that the plate be non-hala- 
tion, since windows will often be included in 
the picture, and, though it is possible to avoid 
halation when using an ordinary plate, much 
effort and trouble will be saved if the plate 
requires no especial attention to this end. As 
stated in the chapter on "Landscape Work," 
the writer's experience seems to indicate that 
backing is a more efficient preventive of hala- 
tion than double-coating, but the latter is never- 
theless very good. As for the element of 
color-sensitiveness, this is almost as imperative 
as freedom from halation. Textiles, colored 
furniture and finishings, stained-glass win- 
dows, all these and many other uses of color 



are frequent in architecture; and, since in this 
work texture must be well rendered, a color- 
sensitive plate will be required. An orthochro- 

matic emulsion, when used with a ray-filter, 
will often be found satisfactory, but if the filter 
is not used it is practieally no better than a 
blue-sensitive one, whereas the panchromatic 
shows some improvement without the filter, and 
a very decided one- with the filter, if red is 
ineluded. In other words, the panchroinatie 
emulsion will do all that the orthochromatic will 
and more, and possesses no disadvantages ex- 
cept that it demands total darkness and time 
development ifi indeed, this characteristic can 
died disadvantageous. 
It sometimes happens that the photographer 
does not own a lens which will give the precise 
effect desired, and in such cases it will not sel- 
dom be found useful to employ a pin-hole at- 
tachment, this piece of apparatus having two 
advantages and one disadvantage, as nmi- 
1 to the lens. In the first place, a pin-hole 
is of any focal length, thus being equivalent to 

a battery of lenses, the only effect of extending 
or retracting the bellows l>eing to change the 



size of the image; the pin-hole has no focal 
point. As a corollary to this, the pin-hole may 
sometimes be used as an extreme wide-angle 
lens, wider, in fact, than any but a very excep- 
tional lens, should such use seem desirable. 
The other advantage is that the definition is 
uniform throughout the entire image, depend- 
ing solely on the size of the pin-hole; whereas 
with a soft-focus lens stopping down not only 
alters the sharpness but also changes the qual- 
ity very materially. In fact, the soft- focus 
lens, when stopped down to secure depth of 
field, is no better than an anastigmat ; but with 
the pin-hole the quality is determined by the 
size, and is totally unaffected by other factors. 
(It may, of course, happen that the worker 
wishes to emphasize some plane at the expense 
of others, by focussing more sharply there than 
elsewhere, in which case this advantage of the 
pin-hole becomes a defect.) The chief disad- 
vantage of the pin-hole is its extreme slowness, 
the exposure required being many times in ex- 
cess of that required by a lens. As an example, 
a pin-hole one-twentieth of an inch in diameter 
will need, when ten inches from the plate, about 



six hundred and twenty-five times the exposure 
necessary with a lens working at F/8, and in 
many cases tins will be prohibitive. Neverthe- 
less, the pin-hole will be found useful at times, 

though the pin-hole attachments sold in the 
stock-houses are seldom desirable, the trouble 
with them being that the diameters of the holes 
are adjusted so as to give an approximation t<> 
apastigmatk definition, which is precisely what 
the pictorial worker wishes to avoid. The com- 
mereial pin-holes range, as a rule, from <>ne- 
nty-fifth to one^fiftieth of an inch, whereas 
the author seldom uses one less than one-twen- 
tieth of an inch in diameter. It is also worthy 
of note that, though the instructions gives faff 
making pin-holes call for great care to see that 
the edges are clean-cut, this is by no means 
necessary so far as the artist is concerned. The 
writer once in an emergency tore a piece from 
a card-board box, cut it to fit the front of his 
camera, pierced a hole in it with a scarf-pin, and 
made an excellent negative with the pin-hole 
so obtained. 

As regards the printing medium to be used 
for architectural photographs, there are two 



which are so preeminently superior to all others 
as to brook no comparison, and the choice de- 
pends on the style of rendering desired, or 
rather on the school to which the photographer 
belongs. There are two schools, the adherents 
of the first professing such reverence for the 
work of great architects that they wish to ren- 
der the productions of these men with absolute 
fidelity, though, of course, choosing in each 
case the most favorable aspect. The chief ex- 
ponent of this school is Frederick Evans, whose 
pictures of English and European cathedrals 
are unsurpassed examples of the class of work 
referred to, and the photographer who desires 
to follow Evans's ideas in the matter of expres- 
sion cannot do better than adopt the printing 
medium which this noted worker has chosen — 
namely, platinum ; or, if this is unobtainable, a 
matt-surface bromide. 

The other school prefers to select some speci- 
men of architecture and translate it into terms 
of the photographer's own appreciation, deep- 
ening a shadow here, heightening a light there, 
until the result corresponds to the mental im- 
pression which the artist has carried away, and 



the attention is concentrated on that particu- 
lar aspect of tin- subject which seems to the 
worker most worthy of note. For this class 
of work oil (or, what amounts to the same thing 
so far as the- final appearance is concerned, 
bromoil) is to he preferred, since it admits <>l 
greater freedom. However, oil may he made 
to give a straight print exactly as well as plat- 
inum, and possesses other dements of flexibil- 
ity than those afforded by brush handling. 
There is a general impression at one time 
shared by the present writer to the effect that 
an oil print necessarily has a certain granular- 
ity of texture, and that the process loses some 
of the finer gradations of the m hut this 

is not the case. The writer has seen oil and 
bromoil prints which were as line in texture and 
in their rendering of gradations as any plati- 
num, hut it is nevertheless true that the power 
of varying the surface texture of the print by 
the manner of using the brush may be a great 
value, a somewhat loose texture serving to sug- 
gest the appearance of rou^h exterior wood or 
stone in a fashion not equalled by any other 
I muting process. It would perhaps he m 11 te 




From h Carbon Print 


the worker to perfect himself in both mediums, 
unless he chooses to become an absolute master 
of oil, in which case he will find that fully 

As to the study required for success in this 
branch of photography, it evidently depends 
somewhat on the style of expression chosen. 
One who elects to work in the manner of the 
first school should have considerable knowledge 
of the principles on which architecture is based, 
should be in great measure familiar with the 
details of the profession, and should possess 
accurate powers of observation, that he may 
be able to recognize the factors which will prove 
most interesting and valuable and to record 
them correctly and in a pleasing manner, in 
respect of both outlines and values. An ac- 
quaintance with the fundamental principles of 
composition and chiaroscuro will be valuable; 
but this knowledge, which is merely useful and 
advantageous to a worker of the first class, is 
absolutely imperative to the photographer of 
the second school, whereas familiarity with 
architecture is by no means necessary to the 
latter, who depends on visual impressions and 

13 193 


00 artistic conception for his effects. The two 
schools, therefore, pursue lines of study which 
are largely at variance with each other, and it 
will be apparent that the first school represents 
thfl .sublimation of the record photographer, 
the worker of the seeond elass being; on the 
other hand, a true artist. It is, however, the 
case that the worker, whichever sehool he electa 
to follow, should know something of the general 
history of the period in whieh the architectural 
monuments of his interest originated, as, lack- 
ing this knowledge and the consequent sym- 
pathy with the mental attitude of the builders, 

Ik- will neither select nor interpret in a manner 
of genuine appreciation. 

Marine photography offers a great possi- 
bilities as any branch of the art of the camera, 
for there are few persons who arc insensible 
to the strength and majesty of the sea itself, 
and when to this we add the countless memories 
of heroism that for generation after generation 
have been associated with those " that go down 
to the sea in ships " we can hardly fail to stir 
the heart of any who has thought for the 
grandeur of nature or for the nobility of the 
human soul. Further, there is the beach, with 
its weeds and other sea- wrack, its " ribbed sea- 
sand," its exquisite curving, gleaming water- 
forms, its iridescent foam; there are the ports 
from which sail fishing-schooners or great 
liners, where are to be found weed-grown piles 
and swirling water; and there are the dunes, 
with their sparse beach-grass, wind-swept, 
harsh, and lonely beyond the power of words 
to express, where the foot sinks ankle-deep in 
the shifting sand — these all may furnish many 



I picture of givat and enduring loveliness if 
I with an artist's eye, at early morning or 
in the afternoon, under a brilliant sun or 
partly veiled in shining mist. Yet no one | 
think to go out on a pleasant summer day and 
return with a dozen great pictures n[' the sea, 
fof Neptune is a reticent god, and is not to be 
captured thus. The photographer who aspires 
{<» do the best marine work must he an athlete, 
must rejoice in danger and hardship, must be 
saturated with the romance and mystery of the 
ocean, must know the winds and the tides, and 
must be able (no mean feat) to distinguish, with 
his instrument, between the heave and swell 
of a lazy sea, the lift and dash of an angry surf, 
the rush and sweep of water over half-hidden 
rockfl, and the slow curve and fall of a breaker. 
Some years ago the writer was called upon to 
make a scries of' photographs of the sea, and 
was favored by the locality chosen, by the 
m ather, and by the help of a friend who knows 

intimately the moods of the ocean and the times 
and seasons for work. Two weeks were spent 
in these favorable circumstances, during which 
time three hundred negatives were made. Of 



the three hundred, thirty were chosen for print- 
ing, and when the prints were finished half of 
them were selected as fulfiling the require- 
ments. Five per cent, is not a large propor- 
tion of successes, but the writer was well 
satisfied, and feels that he was exceptionally 
fortunate, for one of the best of marine work- 
ers has said that he himself prints hardly more 
than one per cent, of his plates. 

Generally speaking, it will be found prefer- 
able to work along a shore distinguished by 
rough, bold, rocky headlands, such as are found 
on the coasts of Maine and of Cornwall, for 
here the surf is broken by the rocks and is more 
apt to furnish striking effects than on a smooth 
beach, and the rocks themselves often help by 
their inclusion in the picture. In fact, it is not 
easy to secure good marines unless something 
besides sea and sky is included, and unless 
some of the shore appears it will be found ad- 
visable to make use of figures, ships, or some 
recognizable object, the reason for this lying 
in the fact that surf has no inherent scale, and 
when photographed by itself may be of any 
size, so far as appearance goes. Of course, this 



lack of inherent scale may at times be an ad- 
vantage: the writer has seen a photograph of 
.lashing turf in which the water seems to rise 
fifteen or twenty feet into the air, whereas the 
actual rise was not more than live or six 
the exaggerated appearance being due to the 
placing of the camera not more than a foot 
from the ground, thus throwing the horizon 
line low in the picture. 

A truthful rendering of relative values in 
the water and the sky is usually desirable, hut 
it is often well to have the rocks, especially if 
in the immediate foreground, darker than they 

should properly be — thus emphasising the 

hrilliance of the surf — and this state of affairs 
may be secured by having the tuning verge on 
under-exposure, so that the lighter portions of 
the picture fall within the straight pail of the 

Barter and Driffield characteristic curve, the 

darker areas coming within the lower pari and 
thus compressing the shadow values. It is also 

Me to obtain this effect by multiple print- 
ing, gum-platinum perhaps, this not only giving 

additional weight to the darks hut also increas- 
ing the hrillianey of the lights. 


It is necessary to give a sense of motion to 
the water — to make it appear to move — and this 
is partly a matter of composition and partly a 
question of timing. The exposure should be 
made at an instant when the mass of water 
is evidently in an unstable position — if such a 
term can be used with regard to an object which 
is never still — and the timing should be such 
that the water moves slightly but perceptibly 
while the shutter is open. It is impossible to 
state exactly what the exposure should be, since 
this depends on the focal length of the lens and 
on the distance from the surf to the camera, 
but roughly speaking one-twenty-fifth to one- 
thirty-fifth of a second will secure the desired 
blurring and avoid the appearance of arrested 
motion, so that the picture will not incur the 
reproach visited by Whistler on a certain ma- 
rine painting, when he rapped with his knuckles 
on the canvas and laconically remarked, "Tin!" 

The photographer who is ambitious of doing 
good marines must not have any cats in his 
ancestry; he should rather be descended from 
a long line of ducks, for it is impossible to 
avoid getting wet at times. The most favor- 


l im: akt of (PHOTOGRAPHY 

iUfl occasion Tor making pictures of surf is 
just after a heavy storm, and then the sea is 
apt to Ik treacherous; the photograph* t may 
think himself well beyond reach of the surf, 
hnt an exceptionally large wave may possibly 
read) him, especially since, the best work being 
done from a low view-point, it is impossible to 
use a lens of very great focal length. One 
famous worker at times uses a box camera en- 
closed with water-proof material and anchors 
himself with a rope, for he finds that on more 
than one occasion surf has broken completely 
over him. This is all very well for a small 
surf though even then a particularly rug 
Bud sturdy strength is necessary to withstand 
such treatment but in the case of a large sea 
it would inevitably be fatal: the man never 
lived who could survive the force of a really 
powerful surf — he would simply be whirled 
into the air and dashed against the rocks as 
easily as a feather. 

One must he | > re pared to waste more plates 
at marine work than in any other branch of 

ph oto graphy, for it is impossible to predict the final form of a wave will he, and it is 


always necessary to start the exposure a frac- 
tion of a second before the wave has reached 
the desired form, to allow for the nervous and 
muscular lag of the individual and the mechan- 
ical lag of the camera. A wave which does not 
promise well may turn out to be just what is 
desired and one which seems very promising 
indeed may fall far short of the ideal ; but the 
worker must photograph both, and, in all prob- 
ability, many others, for he will continually hope 
for one " just a little better." It is commonly 
said that every seventh wave is larger than the 
intermediate ones, but this is by no means true, 
for the interval is variable and indeterminate, 
and the best plan is to watch the formation of 
each wave far out at sea, noting the manner in 
which it approaches and basing one's estimate 
of its probable size on its appearance at this 
time. The camera is, of course, placed in a 
selected position — or approximately so — and 
the shutter is tripped slightly before the wave 
reaches its proper pitch, experience alone avail- 
ing to tell how much allowance must be made, 
for the lag varies with different individuals. 
When considering the preparation of this 


book the writer thought it best to ask one of our 

ablest and best-knows marine photographers, 

Mr. Bertrand II. Wcntworth, to give a descrip- 
tion of his manner of approaching the problem, 

and Mr. Went worth very kindly did so. The 
author feels that he cannot do better than quote 
Mr. Wentworth's reply in full, since it not only 
gives many valuable suggestions which can- 
not tail to he helpful to the student, hut also 
affords considcrahlc insight into the mental 
attitude of the man who has done finer marine 
photographs than any other American worker 
of whom the writer knows. 

M v dear Anderson : 

Before you come to jour chapter <>n marine pho 

tography you will douhtl< -^ have deall fully with the 
general problems of the out-of-door pictoriahst* I 

once heard one of them put tin- question, "How 

shall I know a picture when I lee it?" One cannot 

answer even to ample a question ai thai without en* 
co untering the difficulty of accurate expression in 

writing opOU art and kindred subjects due to tin- fact, 
that art has no terminology of its own. My an 
to that q uestio n i* that, when <>n<- finds agreeable 
(motions awakened by objects in nature, those 


objects contain for him the possibility of a picture. 
There I borrowed " emotion " from the psychologist, 
and probably have a quarrel with him, but the lay- 
man will understand. 

The first qualification for the pictorialist is, then, 
sensitiveness to beauty, and if he be not gifted with 
that he is without hope of success. He must further 
recognize clearly just what objects or conditions in 
nature give impulse to the emotion he feels, and he 
is doubly gifted if he has natural powers of analysis, 
but these may be acquired. To develop the applica- 
tion of these to the problem of recognition of the 
pictorial, one should begin with some clear notion 
of what beauty is, for when he passes from the regis- 
tering of an emotion to the recognition of its source 
he begins to deal with natural facts. To me the 
beautiful is the typical, and the first stage of the 
study of a pictorial subject is to gain a clear concep- 
tion of the element in it which approaches a type. 

So far the experienced and gifted worker goes 
swiftly, instinctively, and unconsciously. Even for 
him the next stage is often slower — the elimination 
of all that is not essential to the expression of the 
type-beauty chosen. To his gift of sensitiveness to 
beauty and* his talent for recognition of its sources 
he must add patience and self-restraint. Rarely 
will he find his typical aspects truest to type at the 


time In- fir-t refpondi to their beauty; much oftener 

than not lit- will have to wait long for the moment 

vfaen tin- extraneoui matter may be raceestfullj 

eliminated. His standards must Ik? so high that he will 
be content to wait hours, days, months, or yeai 
the final perfect result. 

unwind of his tools he must acquire, hut I rank 

this third in importance; and because perception ami 
anal\ IC much iiioiy vital to his • , his 

time will he better devoted to them than to mast, rv 
of a varied technique — of technique, enough is better 
than more. I am ipeaking now of photographic tech 
nique; tin- technique of pictorial composition can 
r be studied enough. 
In some such manner as this I assume you will 
hare covered the broader aspects of the landscape 
pictorialisfs approach to his problems. The pecu- 
liar prohlems of the marine or shore photographer 
from the immensity of the spaces, the abund- 
ance of light, and the inceuanl motion of the 

All three make elimination difficult. Let us apply 

this statement to I c oncr e t e example, for instance, 

a wave of moderate size. Let us suppose that we 

found its beauty to lie in its power; that this 

;• is felt bec ame the wave rises high and reveals 

its g] lit M it falls forward. The obs. r\ I r*> 

mind is fully occupied with theM ions. :md 



with the foam patterns and the play of light and 
shade in the white wave. These only should have a 
place in the consciousness of the observer of the pic- 
ture. The immensity of the spaces here obtrudes in 
a natural excess of sky and in the long sea line. The 
excess of light obtrudes in making the sky too white 
in the printing medium and the contrasts in too short 
a scale in the wave details. The motion makes elim- 
ination difficult because it is extended to all parts of 
the foreground and middle distance. True, one feels 
motion best if the eye does not come to rest before 
the picture, but at some point the motion must be 
great enough to dominate. 

The solution: choose that moment in the wave 
action when its lines lead to the point where greatest 
power is expressed; use a point of view low enough 
to break the sea line, as much as may be, by the crest 
of the wave ; reduce the sky space by raising the sea 
line as far as may be without risking that position's 
finding a place in the consciousness of the observer 
of the picture; eliminate your excesses of light by 
the use of color screens ; and confine your picture to 
its essential elements by the use of a long-focus lens. 
Find that combination of aperture and exposure 
which will neither lose the essential forms nor wholly 
arrest the motion — usually about 1 / 30 of a second 
when the near foreground has no violent motion, 


Another example. A m rv hold clifT foreground, 
with a great headland beyond. Here the lea into 

must be subordinated, and choice must he made 

sen f o re grou nd and headland as ■ dominating 
inte re st If the foreground be chosen, give it ample 

space and detail; leave little more than suggestion 
of the Sea, sky and headland. The choice of the 
pound as the type-beauty of the picture is justi- 
fied only if that type-beautv iras the one which . 

the picture impulse , M it would in a fog which par- 
tially OOnceakd all else. If the headland I 
it must be for an interest there that dominates, as, 
for instance, when the foreground cliff* is in afternoon 
shadow and late high-lights are on the headland. 
Clouds just beyond the headland would help: 
action would divide the interest — and so, a <jui. ' 
for such a picture. 

The marine photographer's difficulty of the immen- 
sity of the spaces is ( I nl, and always tempt- 
ing him to try the impossible. His , ccess of light if 
ol course most troublesome in midsummer, when he 
must work, if at all to advantage, long before bn 

fast and in the very late afternoon. The fall months 

at the shore an best, as elsewhere, for the lighting 

problems. On the New England coast they bring, 

'he most typical seas. Through the summer 

MM occasional winds maintaining their 



From a Bromide Enlargement 


power long enough in one direction to build up some 
surf, but as a rule the summer seas are simply glori- 
fications of the types one finds on inland lakes ; the 
sailors call them " deep chops." The forms are 
broken, inconsistent, accidental. There are notable 

The great pictorial opportunities come when a 
great storm passes, well out to sea. Then the " organ- 
ized sea " of the painter's vocabulary rolls in smooth, 
oily water, often under clear skies, and rises incred- 
ibly as it approaches the shores. No one ever sees 
the sky in the presence of this sea's commanding 
interest, and its space in the picture can therefore 
be reduced to the minimum, or lost altogether in the 
white fog that will very likely accompany such a 
sea. The sea line may then be reduced to the merest 
fraction essential to stability. 

But these seas bring new problems. The low point 
of view is not so easily maintained if one values cam- 
era, life and limb. The whole sea picture becomes 
white with the violence of the action; the beautiful 
patterns of foam against the green of a curling wave; 
the reflections of the breaking tops in the smooth 
water ahead of them — these are lost ; and the new and 
perhaps long-wished-for opportunity finds the worker 
confronted with entirely new problems to which he 
brings no adequate experience. I am speaking now 


of such a grand sea as conies once in a deca<i 
twenty-five years. 

Tin- best period for study of an organized sea is 
tin- three hours including the last two of the coming 
and the first of tin- receding tide. All through 
the coming tide the wave-action gains momentum 
from the tidal action. This momentum carries the 
type-action of the organised sea on through the two- 
hour period at the top of the tide, when the tidal 
action is slight; so that the maximum is reached and 
the most typical forms come in the first hour of the 
ebb-tide. En a grand sea period the best picti 
opportunities come with its first tides, while the sea 
is still green. Later the violence of the continued 
action brings an excess of foam. 

If one's study is of surf against outlying rocks, 
or ihorei and headlands, there arc many exceptions 
to thfl *bOTe rule when applied to wave-action. Tin m- 
exceptions depend upon local conditions, and must be 
discovered by patient observation. Find for each 
subject as near as may be that moment of a coming 
tide when "an irresistible force meets an immovable 
objed " with a pictorial result. 

The critical moments in sea action ar ting 

that a reflecting hand camera is best. Kven for them, 
ilways when possible, the more deliberate study 


with a stand camera is desirable. Orthochromatic 
photography is indispensable, and screens should be 
used when light and motion admit. Anastigmatic 
lenses have their place in the work. Soft-focus lenses 
should be used with discretion, and more for their 
properties of distributing focus through many 
planes than for their other qualities. 

One never fully acquires a new language until 
he can think unconsciously in it. Just so, one never 
fully knows his lenses until he can see his subjects 
quite unconsciously in terms of his lenses. I use 
three types of soft-focus lenses often, and one anas- 
tigmatic lens and pin-holes occasionally. The lenses 
give me six different focal lengths, from 8 to 16 
inches, and I usually apply them to a 4X5 plate. My 
choice of this size is a compromise of many considera- 
tions. For a long time I carried both B^XS 1 /^ an ^ 
314X4%. I now think it better to use one size only, 
and the best reason is not the saving of trouble, but 
the reducing of the complexities. Thinking of pictures 
in the terms of one's lens angles and properties is pos- 
sible only if one limits their number. Andl think of my 
craft as — not a steam-plow proposition on western 
prairies, but rather as an intensive kind of gardening, 
in which one's crop of high success depends on patient 
and intimate study of subjects in a small field. That 

14 209 


is why I am content to turn the same ground 
and over again, here at home and on my little island. 
Yours faithfully, 


Merely adding that Mr. Wentworth's prints 
are all enlargements in relatively large si 
we will, with this discussion by a master of 
the eraft, take leave of the subject of marine 


Some persons have inferred, from statements 
made at various times by the author, that he 
holds motion-picture photography in low 
esteem, but this is by no means the case; his 
objection is to the manner in which the " mov- 
ies " have been exploited, and, as a matter of 
fact, he believes this work to present great op- 
portunities for artistic expression, once it is 
thoroughly understood that the screen drama 
cannot at present replace that of the stage. 

In order that we may attain to a proper 
comprehension of the possibilities and limita- 
tions of motion-picture photography, it will be 
advisable first to consider the art as it exists to- 
day and later to take up the question of what it 
may become, and we will not touch, in this 
discussion, on the scientific uses of the motion- 
picture camera. These are many and varied, 
and are of the utmost value to the investigator 
of natural phenomena, since they furnish a 



means of analyzing motions which, cither 
through their rate of progression or through 
their obscurity, cannot be appreciated by the 
eye, and of securing a permanent record of 
such motions. Thus, it is possible, by photo- 
graphing rapidly and projecting slowly, to 
analyze the manner in which a projectile pene- 
trates armor-plate, by reversing the process to 
render appreciable the development and un- 
folding of a flower, or, by calling the X-rays to 
our aid, to record in visible form the peristaltic 
movements of the stomach during digestion, 
but this phase of motion-picture work has noth- 
ing to do with art, and consequently lies out- 
side the scope of the present book. 

One often hears astonishment expressed 
at (be popularity of the film drama, at the 
numerous motion-picture theatres and the 
crowds which attend them, hut this phenom- 
enon is by no means a cause for wonderment to 
one who has even a slight knowledge of psy- 
chology. One of the fundamental require- 
ments of the human system, as imperative u 
Hm n<« (1 for food or sleep, is the need for excite 
ment. Our Puritan ancestors did not apprc- 


ciate this fact, but looked on all diversion, how- 
ever harmless it might actually be, as morally 
wrong, bequeathing to us a set of beliefs in 
which this attitude figures largely. Many indi- 
viduals satisfy this perfectly normal and in- 
stinctive craving for excitement by means of 
alcohol or other narcotics, by gambling or by 
some other form of vice, and such gratification 
is unquestionably immoral, for, being physi- 
cally or financially injurious, it is anti-social, 
this being what constitutes the impropriety of 
conduct which we term immorality. Others, 
wiser than these, find the necessary excitement 
in stories of adventure, and others, still wiser, 
in outdoor sports, but everyone must have it in 
some form or other if physical and mental 
health are to be maintained. The writer's 
father was accustomed to obtain it from chess 
and from trout-fishing; the writer himself se- 
cures it from hand-ball, swimming and fiction; 
a famous American statesman got it from de- 
tective stories of the dime-novel class; and so 
on. But the cheapest, most accessible and easi- 
est way at the present time is through the 
screen drama, for the producers of the motion- 



picture have deliberately set themselves to cater 
bo this omnipresent craving, though it may be 
doubted it' they have realized the psyehie foun- 
dation for the popularity of the type of play 
most in favor. It is the fashion among a 
certain aesthetic (and perhaps slightly over-re- 
fined) class of individual to decry the mov- 
ies," as crude, raw and appealing to tin lower 
emotions. Crude and raw the vast majority 
of photo-plays are, full of violations of truth 
and unity, but they nevertheless satisfy an 
elemental need. One of the ablest physicians 
of the writer's acquaintance is an enthusiastic 
" movie fan," the same is true of another of 
the writer's friends, a very capable busineflfl 
man and enthusiastic student of English liter- 
ature, and the writer himself, though co n tempt" 
nous of the careless inattention to detail and 
the crudities of plot and action characteristic 
of most of the screen dramas, still sits on the 
edge of his chair when the hero triumphs over 
the villain in the last act, precisely as he 
does at a fast sparring bout or as he leaps to his 
feet and yells when, in the ninth inning, with 
two out and the bases full, a pinch hitter drives 



the ball over right-field fence. No, the enthusi- 
asm for the " movies " goes deeper than a mere 
emptiness of mind and lack of mental resources. 

Two things greater than all things are : 
The first is Love and the second War, 

and the producers of photo-plays realize this 
fully, for they ring the changes on these two 
themes in unending succession. 

There are but few communities in this coun- 
try which are without a motion-picture theatre, 
where the best films may be seen, and the price 
of admission is within the reach of nearly every- 
one. Many persons will go to see a motion- 
picture play for fifteen or twenty-five cents 
who would hesitate long before spending two 
dollars for theatre tickets, and there are many 
so situated as to be unable to get to a real 
theatre. For example, the writer spends his 
summers in a small town, a hundred miles or 
so from the nearest theatre of importance; the 
inhabitants are farmers or small merchants, 
and few of them get to the city once a year, or 
have more than a few dollars to spend when 
they do. There is, however, a motion-picture 



theatre, where films are shown three times a 
week, and the films are those which are shown 
in the large cities, so that these farmers, who 
have literally no opportunity to familiarize 
themselves with the stage, are nevertheless on 
the same plane as city dwellers so far as mo- 
tion-picture plays are concerned. In such 
cases the cinematograph is absolutely a God- 
send, for no one who has not experienced it can 
have any conception of the utter monotony of 
the New England farmer's life. Here, then. 
we have the basic cause for the popularity of 
the motion-picture play: it is cheap, it is readily 
accessible, and it satisfies a normal human 

We may now take up the failings and short- 
comings of the producers. It will be found that 
most of the proximate faults of the photo-plays 
— excluding the one tremendous failing, the 
lack of the spoken word — are due to excess i\ <■ 
popularity. In the mad scramble to put out 
films everyone who has even the remotest con- 
ception of dramatic situations perpetrates 
scenarios; and everyone with a mobile coun- 
tenance, athletic ability or attractively curly 



hair can obtain a salary greater than he could 
secure in other walks of life, to say nothing of 
tickling his vanity through the reproduction of 
his photograph or the adoration of his admirers, 
and of securing an altogether abnormal amount 
of excitement in the course of acting. It is not 
necessary to be crude in order to stir the deep 
emotions ; no more exquisite love scene is to be 
found in all literature than the one in Act II of 
" Romeo and Juliet," nor does there exist a 
more tense and thrilling dramatic situation 
than the one which culminates in the words : 

As I did stand my watch upon the hill, 

I look'd toward Birnam, and anon, methought, 

The wood began to move. 

But not everyone among the play-wrights is a 
Shakespeare, nor are the actors and actresses 
of the screen willing to undergo the long and 
arduous apprenticeship which alone can make 
a great actor — why work hard for years when 
one can achieve fame and fortune by means of 
" stunts," or, more simply yet, through the 
medium of custard pie? So we have crudi- 
ties of plot and action, details not true to life, 



false and unnatural cross-lightings (the writer 
has seen an actor's face in an out-door sc 
with two sets of high-lights, and the catch- 
lights in the eyes canie from — of all things in 
the world — foot-HghUt), floods of Light which 
destroy modeling, and variations of lighting in 
the same scene. Some make-up being thought 
necessary (it would not be, if proper attention 
were paid to the purely photographic work), 
the actors and actresses overdo it until we have 

iiics whose eyes suggest a nephritic condi- 
tion and villains who are the counterpart of him 
of the " ten-twenty-thirty-cent " stock com- 
panies — Desperate Desmond is familiar to all 
frequenters of M movie n theatres. Hut worst 
of all is the M vampire " ; when she gets her war- 
paint on she could by no means seduce anyone 
not in an advanced stage of chronic alcoholism. 

i. too, being deprived of the spoken word, 
the actors must gel their emotions across purely 

me and expression! so we have passions 

torn to tatters, frantic wind-mill gyrations of 

.•inns and legs, and facial contortions strongly 

of 'pink alligators with gasoline 

eyes." And the comedy! Necessarily, pan- 




From a Brnmuil KnUrmMat 


tomimic comedy is buffoonery — if anyone 
doubts this, let him try to imagine " She Stoops 
to Conquer " or " The School for Scandal " on 
the screen — and there are probably not half a 
dozen really funny buffoons in the world, so 
screen comedy in the vast majority of cases be- 
longs to the ash-can-and-custard-pie school of 
art. Altogether, the " movie " drama of the 
present day is a rather distressing mess, and on 
the rare occasions when one finds a play which 
is well written, well directed, well acted and 
well photographed one experiences a tremen- 
dous feeling of gratification. Charles Van 
Loan tells of a director who had one of his 
actors lie down in a snowstorm for several hours 
because the 'script called for him to be buried 
in the snow. The actor remonstrated: 

" I'll freeze to death," said he. " Why can't 
you let me lie down and you have the snow piled 
on top of me? " 

" It wouldn't look right," answered the 

" Not one man in ten thousand would ever 
know the difference." 

" Maybe not," said the director, " but I'm 



working for the ten-thousandth man." This 
story may or may not be true, but would that 
we had more directors like this one! 

It must, however, be admitted that in regard 
to the quality of the acting, the motion-picture 
is steadily, if slowly, improving. The writer 
has seen several photoplays in which the actors 
behaved almost in a natural fashion, and it 
seems not improbable that at some future time 
the gestures and facial expressions may be no 
more violent than is necessary to convey the 
desired emotion. 

Another serious fault in many photo-plays is 
that the action is run off too rapidly. This does 
not refer to the relatively unimportant — hut 
nevertheless somewhat irritating— -mistake of 
allowing the actors to move with such Speed 
that the camera cannot fully register their mo- 
tion and the figures become blurred, hut to the 
greater error of crowding too extensive a drama 
into too short a time, so that the action becomes 
confused and the spectators cannot completely 
follow it, or can do so only through an exces- 
UYC effort of concentration. It is perhaps a 

natural mistake, when we consider that the 


whole play, the inception, rise and climax, must 
take place within half an hour or an hour, in- 
stead of the hour and a half or two hours 
allowed on the stage — but must it really do so? 
Is it in truth necessary to hurry the actors 
through their parts so fast that the audience 
cannot fully grasp what is taking place — can 
catch only the high spots, so to speak? Evi- 
dently, if two plays can be run off in an eve- 
ning, the theatre can be filled twice ; but would 
it not be better to proceed in a more natural 
fashion, allow the audience time to follow, in 
a contemplative or receptive manner, the prog- 
ress of the drama, and so leave a better, because 
deeper, impression? The writer has seen a 
photo-play advertised in these words: " Screen 
time one hour and forty minutes " ; and he 
would far rather see a play in which the actors 
walked through their parts than one in which 
they pranced through. Of course, rapid action 
must proceed rapidly — men do not lounge 
through a fight — but, on the other hand, lovers 
in real life do not gallop into each other's arms, 
nor does a man fighting his way into the teeth 

of a storm walk at eight miles an hour. 


"Gently, my boy, gently] Don't frighten the 
lady! Approach her more in the manner of a 
well-fed house cat approaching a casual bowl 

of cream, rather than like a hungry dog pounc- 
ing upon a bone I 

To sum it uj). then, the screen drama is suf- 
fering from an excess of popularity, and the 
that \\c can hope for is the gradual IJM 
of a popular demand for better things, a de- 
mand which cannot possibly fail to produce a 
salutary effect 

Turning now to the brighter side of the pic- 
ture, lei us consider what the possibilities of 
this mode of artistic expression may be. We 
find at the very outset that its analysis is by no 
means easily formulated, for the art is of such 
•it development that no one has yet fully 
explored it. 

The most conspicuous difference between 
motion-picture photography and the ordinary 
kind is that in the former objects which were in 
motion at the time of photographing seem, in 
finished picture, to move. This may ap- 
10 obvious as not to deserve mention, hut 
it is, in reality, of far greater importance than 



most persons realize, for one of the principal 
limitations against which the graphic artist is 
obliged to struggle is his inability to depict mo- 
tion, and the consequent necessity he labors 
under of endeavoring to suggest it. Trees 
bending and springing in the wind, surf beat- 
ing on the rocks, clouds drifting across the 
sky, figures walking, running and performing 
other acts — these all aid in building up an illu- 
sion of reality and so making us sensible of 
nature's impressiveness, and these can be 
shown by means of the motion-picture. Size, 
stereoscopic effect, and motion are the three 
principal factors which operate to make the 
original more impressive than the pictured rep- 
resentation, and of these three the last two 
are more within the power of the cinemato- 
graph to show than is the case with any other 
graphic medium. Since, then, two of the chief 
limitations of graphic art are removed by the 
very essence of the medium, it follows that the 
artist is free to concentrate his attention on 
other matters and to follow out larger ideas 
than when working with other processes. An 
added power is placed at his command; and 



though he loses one quality of still photography 
— namely, the aesthetic value of superficial 
print texture — this loss is more than compen- 
sated by the accompanying gain. It has been 
said that a stereoscopic effect may be better 
secured in motion-picture work than in still 
art, and this seems to arise from the fact that 
the figures move within the setting and in rela- 
tion to their surroundings, individuals passing 
in front of and behind objects and other fig- 
ures, and growing or diminishing in size as they 
approach or recede from the camera. Of 
course, much of the stereoscopic effect in cine- 
matography depends on trick-work with the 
lighting, hut this portion is quite within the 
grasp of the still photographer; the other part 
is not. Prom this stereoscopic effect there re- 
sults a feeling of depth and enveloppe which it 
is impnssihle to secure in an ordinary photo- 
graph and whieh goes far to aid in producing 
an illusion of reality. 

Another factor of importance is the greater 
brilliance of the image obtainable in motion- 
picture work over that possible in a print. One 
of the distinguishing characteristics of natural 



lighting is the tremendous brilliance of the 
scene — a brilliance so great that the deepest 
shadow of a landscape may actually, as has 
been said elsewhere, reflect a far greater 
amount of light than the highest light of a 
photograph of the scene. A print must be 
viewed by reflected light, and the support 
itself absorbs a considerable percentage of the 
light falling on the picture, but motion-pictures 
are seen by transmitted light, so can be inher- 
ently more brilliant than any print, thus ap- 
proaching more closely to the natural aspect of 
the scene, though still falling short of actual 
fact. Then, too, motion-pictures are viewed 
in a darkened room, with the two- fold effect 
that the lights of the picture gain brilliance by 
contrast with the dark surroundings and that 
the pupil of the observer's eye dilates in re- 
sponse to the darkness, thus causing still fur- 
ther gain in apparent luminosity of the screen 
image. This brilliance, it is true, is secured in 
lantern- slides, but these do not form a very 
popular phase of photography, and lack many 
of the advantages of prints. 

The writer has already explained that he is 
15 225 


far boo agreeing with Buskin's dictum 

that DO picture can be truly great unless it con- 
tains human figures Off some suggestion of hu- 
manity, hut he does feel that of all the subjects 
fully within the grasp of the graphie artist man 
is the most impiesshre. The grandeur of na- 
ture is in most instances beyond the power of 
the artist to express, depending, as it does, 
largely on magnitude; but the grandeur of 
humanity depends, not on a gigantic scale of 
action, but on the majesty of the soul as seen 
in its outward manifestations, and this can be 
seized and represented by the artist. Since the 
human being is the most freely mobile of all of 
nature's grander manifestations, and since lit- 
is the only one in which grandeur is expressed 
on a scale comparable to the scale of represen- 
tation, it follows that human acts and emotions 
are peculiarly adapted to motion-picture work 
of the higher sort, and that their representa- 
tion properly forms the subject of the motion- 
picture artist who aims at the finest possible 

The writer and the actor of motion-picture 
dramas are necessarily r e strict ed to the delinea- 



tion of such emotions as can be conveyed 
through gesture and facial expression, aided by 
brief explanatory sub-titles which can be read 
in a few seconds, with the inevitable conse- 
quence that only the more objective and ele- 
mental emotions can be shown on the screen. 
Abstract ideas are quite beyond the power of 
the " movies," but such emotions and sensations 
as hunger, fatigue, fear, love, anger, hate, jeal- 
ousy, sorrow, joy and the like, are quite readily 
conveyed, and this fact explains the prevalence 
of melodrama among photo-plays, for what we 
call melodrama deals fundamentally with the 
more primitive emotions. A limit is thus fixed 
beyond which the motion-picture artist may not 
go until the day when science gives us a per- 
fectly modulated and perfectly synchronized 
combination of motion-picture and phono- 
graph, when the " movies " will not merely 
equal but will actually surpass the drama of 
the stage. 

There are two circumstances which favor the 
motion-picture worker above the dramatist and 
producer who make use of the stage, and it is 
these which will, in combination with a sound- 



reproducing mechanism, eventually lift the 
cinematograph play to the high station fore 
told. The first (not altogether inherent in 
motion-picture work but depending partly on 
the popularity of the screen drama, with the 
consequent large sums invested in the business 
of production) is the possibility of employing 
more spacious settings and a larger group of 
actors: a crowd may be a real crowd, not merely 
half a dozen supers crying " Hurrah M in dif- 
ferent voices; an army may be a real army; 
supers may be chosen because they represent 
the desired types; and so on. In a measure 
related to this is the other circumstance: the 
setting may be the one actually designated by 
the play-\\ right, for the action needs to be nm 
through but once, and settings are available 
which would be impossible on the stage. A 
scene in a lumber camp may be staged in the 
woods, one in a railway station may be photo- 
graphed in a railway station, and action sup- 
posed to take place at the seashore may be 
played at the shore. From this it will be the advantages as well as the limitations 
of the motion-picture drama tend to force the 



action into the realm of the objective, for it is 
not in human nature to restrict oneself volun- 
tarily. Scenery is not necessary when abstract 
ideas are dealt with, and the most lofty and 
magnificent subjective dramas the world has 
ever seen — the old Greek tragedies — were 
enacted on a stage bare even to emptiness. It 
may be doubted if they would have gained by 
the use of scenery ; in fact, it is practically cer- 
tain that they would have lost; and the Eliza- 
bethan scenery — a notice-board with the words, 
" This is a Wood," " This is a Palace "—was 
ample for the stupendous play of human emo- 
tions found in Shakespeare's tragedies. We 
cannot, however, expect anyone to discard the 
aid given him by his medium, nor can any but 
the most highly gifted and well-trained artist 
distinguish the point at which adventitious aid 
ceases to help and becomes a hindrance. When 
the inclusion of scenery is carried too far the 
attention of the spectators is distracted from 
the finer shades of expression, only the more 
obvious phases are perceived, and the plane of 
the whole drama falls from the subjective to the 
objective; so it is evidently incumbent upon 



the pnxluc-cr to see that the setting does not 
detract from the play. However, their is but 
little danger of such a result in the case <>f 

dramas of action. 

Enough has heen said to show that the mo- 
tion-picturr camera is one of the Strongest 

mediums of artistic expression available to-day, 
and that the greed of the producers lias so far 

prev en ted it from accomplishing all that it 
might have achieved. " Why," they argue, 

u should we spend money and time producing 
works of art when we can crowd the theatres 
with what we are now putting out? People 
don't want to see art; they want thrills." This 
is a fallacious argument: true art may be M 
thrilling as poorer stuff , and the public will go 
to see the best that can he obtained — will, in- 
deed, prefer it to the crude and raw product. 

ided only that the fundamental and essen- 
tial human appeal he kept intact. It is no 
more than fair to admit that the enterprise of 

the producers has paved the way for the later 

. hut it is equally true that Bne and 

lofty drama will crowd the houses as surely as 
hlood-and-thund< r plays or the lascivious ap- 



From a Bromoil Enlargement 


peal of semi-nudity. The American public will 
pay for the best that it can get, in drama as in 
other things. Sooner or later a producer will 
arise who will strive for the best that can be 
secured, and when that day comes we shall see 
motion-picture plays to which those of the 
present will be as night to day or as dross to 
thrice-refined gold. 



'I'm. fundamental purpose of portraiture is 
t<» furnish a complete and satisfactory likeness 
of the sitter. This may seem a platitude, hut 
it is worth emphasizing, since it is too often for- 
gotten in the photographic world, both by the 
professional, who is apt to regard an accurate 
map of the features as constituting the end and 
aim of his work, and by the advanced amateur, 
who in his enthusiasm for pictorial effect fre- 
quently ignores all other considerations and so 
neglect or fails to secure a likeness. The author 
has no hesitation in saying that, when the cxi- 
gCBCiefl of the ease prevent attaining both a 
picture and a likeness, the former should un- 
questionably be discarded, but it must not, 
therefore, be supposed that he is necessarily 
content with a mere record of fact. When the 
sitter pays for a likeness he is entitled to receive 
one, and to attempt to foist upon him some- 
thing else — however beautiful it may be — is to 


question his judgment and to ignore his rights, 
but this is not to say that the photographer 
should be content to give him merely what lie 
asks. It is the function and privilege of the 
artist to labor in the effort to elevate the popu- 
lar taste and to educate the public in appreci- 
ation of the finer things of life, and no true 
artist ever yet hesitated to give more than he 
was paid for ; in fact, a sincere and genuine en- 
thusiast in any line will invariably give the 
best that is in him, regardless of the financial 

With the amateur the case is somewhat dif- 
ferent, for, since he is not paid for his work, he 
is under no obligation to consider the sitter's 
preferences, and is free to work with any end 
in view. However, even here the result cannot 
be called a portrait unless the requirement of 
resemblance is fulfiled, and some other title 
must be chosen. The. author would here digress 
from the topic in order to deplore the custom, 
so prevalent among photographers, of exhib- 
iting pictures under the title " Study." Every 
artist makes studies, and the effects secured in 
so doing are often very charming, but the genu- 



ine artist seldom or never exhibits tin an, prefer- 
ring to apply the knowledge thus obtained to 
the construction of a complete and fully organ- 
bed picture. The photographer who uses the 
name " Study " for an exhibition print lays 
himself open to the suspicion of having merely 
photographed some interesting effect of light 
or line and of not being frank enough to show 
it as such, or of being too lacking in imagina- 
tion to select a suitable title and too indolent 
to work the effect into a finished picture. 

The true portrait, then, should present a 
complete and satisfactory representation of the 
contours and gradations of the face ; it should 
be as fully d es c riptive as possible of the sitter's 
character; and it should be a picture of such 
nature as to be artistically pleasing to one who 
is unacquainted with the original. The first 
desideratum is obtained by the use of a suitable 
lens — one which renders the outlines neither 
wire-sharp nor excessively vague and is of 
proper focal length — and by the correct ren- 
ng of rallies; die second I>y proper atten- 
tion to posing, expression, accessories and 
lighting; and the third by care in the composi- 

n j 


tion of line and mass, by suitable adjustment of 
chiaroscuro, and by proper choice and manipu- 
lation of the printing medium. This division 
is, of course, not absolutely precise, for the 
selection of scale and key influences all three 
elements, and there are other modifying fac- 
tors; but, broadly speaking, it will be found 
very satisfactory. 

Since one of the portrait-worker's chief aims 
should be to express the sitter's character (in- 
deed, it is possible to produce a thoroughly 
recognizable portrait of an individual without 
showing the face at all) it may be well to con- 
sider the basis of this element. It is a fairly 
well-known fact that we recognize our ac- 
quaintances as much by pose and manner as by 
features, for these last become indistinguish- 
able at a slight distance, whereas we can often 
name a person approaching long before his face 
has become more than a blur. Profession, mode 
of life, and habits of thought all leave their 
stamp on the individual's features and carriage, 
and the writer has produced more than one por- 
trait of which people who do not know the sitter 
say at once: " That man is a doctor," or, M He 



is an artist," ;m<l this without introducing any 
of the characteristic surroundings of the sitter's 
profession, but merely hy due attention to 
facial expression and pose of the body, head 

and hands. Ask a painter who is noted for his 
rendering of character how he attains his re- 
sults, and the reply will probably he: " I paint 
what I see"; but it may he douhted if this is 
quite exact, or, rattier, quite complete. He 
undoubtedly paints what be sees, hut his appre- 
eiation of the sitter's character influences his 
Vision, maVfalg him see other things than those 
actually existent and causing him to ignore 
things which are actually present. In an earlier 
chapter a famous caricaturist has been quoted 
as saying that the essence of caricature lies in 
the slight exaggeration of some one feature — 
that if mOK than one feature he e: ated, 

or if the one chosen be over-emphasized, the 

It will he not a caricature hut a grotesque; 
and this idea prohahly lies a! the root of good 

raiture. The artist unconsciously exag- 
gerates or at least emphasizes the characti 

tic features, s upp res sin g or minimizing those 

wUd] conflict with or detract from the ideal 


toward which he is working. It will be seen 
from this that the best portraitist is the one 
who combines in fullest measure the power of 
reading character, knowledge of the effects of 
light and shadow, and mastery of the technic 
of his medium, and it necessarily follows that 
no one ever passes the need for study; no one 
ever knows all there is to know about any one 
of the three requirements, to say nothing of 
them all. 

Men are most likely to have strongly marked 
characters, since their mode of life tends to de- 
velop the mental processes and to encourage 
decision, whereas our present unfortunate 
ideals of feminine beauty incline toward mere 
regularity of outline and delicacy of complex- 
ion. One finds, nevertheless, a good many 
women whose features express mental activity 
and firmness of will, the higher beauties of the 
mind rather than the mental indolence which is 
imperative in the cultivation of what is popu- 
larly termed beauty ; and as time goes on, with 
the increasing share that women are taking and 
the finer part they are playing the world's af- 
fairs, this class will beyond doubt increase in 



numbers. Boys and girls up to the age of 
eighteen <>r so, and small children, are evidently 
very unlikely to possess strongly marked char- 
acteristics, but they all (even babies) have per- 
sonality — that is, latent possibilities — and it 
must be the artist's effort to discover and to 
portray this element. Few if any graphic 
artists ire equally good at the portrayal of 
men Mid women. 'Hie masculine mind is essen- 
tially logical and direct, the feminine being 
more impulsive and intuitive, and a certain 
amount of sympathy — a kindred quality of 
mind — is necessary for adequate portrait work ; 
the artist must in some measure resemble the 
sitter, and few persons are sufficiently flexible 
mentally to be able to appreciate both types of 
Intellect To be sure, there does not appear to 
he any sound reason why this difference of 
mind should be permanent throughout future 
generations, for there is no physiological men- 
tal difference between the sexes, and the ptf |- 
cnt variation R < nis to be rather the result of 
education and braining than of anything else. 
We may. therefore, expect to see tin minds of 
men and women approaching a common type 



as time goes on, but for the present the facts 
are as stated, and each portrait worker will 
have to determine through experience whether 
he will take up the portraiture of men or of 
women, according to the type of mind with 
which he is most in sympathy. To be sure, the 
majority of portrait photographers work with 
either men or women indifferently, but it is 
unfortunately true that most portrait photog- 
raphers also delineate one sex or the other 
rather badly, or neither very well, and it is de- 
cidedly better to be a specialist in this respect. 
It is utterly impossible to tell anyone how 
to recognize and to delineate character. This 
knowledge must come from study on the part 
of the worker, but it is by no means advised that 
he confine this study to his working hours. In 
fact, it is strongly recommended that he do not 
do so, since opportunities offer wherever peo- 
ple are found — at home, on the street, in trains, 
at the theatre ; in short, practically everywhere. 
The student may begin by noting the salient 
characteristics of those with whom he is ac- 
quainted, as well as the emphasis given to these 
characteristics by various lightings, both nat- 



unl and artificial, observing carefully the vol- 
ume and direction of the illumination in each 
case, and noting also the typical poses and 
mannerisms — giving as much consideration to 
tin hands as to the face, for the hands are sec- 
OOd only to the features in their power of ex- 
pressing mental traits and mode of life. Thence 
the student may pass on to the consideration of 
strangers, endeavoring to interpret their char- 
acter in the light of what he has already ol>- 
served. He should cultivate the habit of making- 
mental notes of what he sees, as well as that of 
making his observations in a glance, this last 
partly to avoid giving offense and partly be- 
cause the ability to make rapid mental notes is 
valuable. He will be astonished to find how 
rapidly this power develops with practice, SO 
that it will eventually be possible for him to 
observe and memorize a face in a few seconds. 
H«ring Required this ability, the student may 
adopt the custom of (tedding mentally how he 
would treat each individual: whether he would 
make a large head, a bust, a half length, Of a 
full length; what pose of the head and hands 
untild t)C used: what character of lighting, what 


scale and key, what sort of background — in 
short, he should endeavor to construct a finished 
portrait of the individual selected, for such 
training will not only help to familiarize him 
with different treatments but will also tend to 
develop his imaginative powers, a faculty which 
is not only falling into desuetude as a result of 
the evolution of the race, but is still further 
suppressed by modern educational methods. 
The average person supposes that a vivid imagi- 
nation is a drawback in modern life, and does 
all that he can to restrain it in children, thinking 
that to encourage it will act unfavorably on 
their later careers. As a matter of fact, the 
imagination is a fundamental and essential fac- 
ulty of the mind, as much so as memory or 
logic, and perfect mental balance demands the 
possession of all three in due proportions. It 
is only a disordered and uncontrolled imagina- 
tion which is harmful. 

The writer believes that photography is pre- 
eminently the best medium for portrait work, 
and that portraiture is distinctly the metier of 
the camera, being led to this conclusion by the 
following considerations: 

16 241 


As has been pointed out, the finest portrait 
work demands primarily a fairly accurate ren- 
dering of the contours and gradations of the 
face, and the camera is able to secure this bet- 
ter than any other medium, being distinguished 
above all other graphic arts by the accuracy 
with which it records whatever is placed in 
front of it. 

The second requirement for portraiture is 
the power of emphasizing certain features and 
suppressing or holding in reserve others, and 
this the camera can do, through choice of light- 
ing, and various technical manipulations, quite 
as well as any other graphic art, though when 
it is a question of introducing hand modifica- 
tions the photographer will do well to exercise 
a great deal of restraint unless he is a trained 
draughtsman. It is no simple matter to pro- 
duce a desired expression by means of work on 
the plate, and for this reason the writer strongly 
advises that the photographer study to ael> 
his effects by arrangement of light, pose and 
adjustment of values, reserving, however, the 
privilege of modifying the background and the 
play of light in the broader areas of the picture. 


From a Guai-pUtinum Priot 


It may seem strange that one so enthusiastic 
for free modification in photography as is the 
present writer should nevertheless insist on the 
importance of literalness in portraiture, but 
the explanation is, in reality, very simple. In 
landscape and genre and marine work the pho- 
tographer is striving to stimulate the imagina- 
tion of the observer, so he permits himself to 
violate actual truth of appearance, but in por- 
traiture truth of appearance is the primary ob- 
ject, and it is difficult to preserve this when 
doing hand work on relatively small areas of 
the negative or the print. For this reason it 
seems best to employ the retouching pencil only 
to correct the faulty rendering of color values 
characteristic of the ordinary plate — and if a 
panchromatic plate is used even this slight 
amount of hand work will be unnecessary. 

Color, the one element in which photography 
is weak, is by no mean a necessity in portrai- 
ture, since character can be rendered as well in 
monochrome as in full color; in fact, the mono- 
chrome rendering may at times be superior to 
the other, as is evidenced by the fact that those 
artists who are noted for their psychic insight 



are often found to reduce their palettes almost 

to monochrome, employing color only in small 
arch and for the sake of relief. This is espe- 
cially true of the greatest masters of all, Rem- 
brandt and Velasquez; and is particularly 
noticeable in their portraits of men and women 
of strong character, which, of course, is just as 
might be expected, the appeal of form being 
intellectual and that of color sensuous. It is 
admitted that in the ease of women whose' inter- 
est lies in their coloring and their regularity 
of feature rather than in their strength of char- 
acter, and in the case of children, whose char- 
acters are not fully formed, the absence of color 
may be unfortunate, as may also happen when 
the primary interest is in the picture rather 
than in the- portrait element: but, in the- main, 
the writer does not feci the lack of color in 
portrait photography. An interesting exem- 
plification of this Condition is found in two por- 
traits by Velasquez those of Maria Theresa 

of Austria and Admiral Pulido l'areja. The 

ininicr, representing a young princess, is much 

higher in key than the other, and is rich in 
color, whereas the latter, showing a man of 



strong character, is almost in monochrome and 
presents greater contrasts of light and dark. 
In the former the interest is in the picture, in 
the latter it is in the man. It is understood that 
where the writer speaks of monochrome in con- 
nection with photography it is not meant to 
imply a pure black image on a white stock, 
since it is quite within the province of the cam- 
era worker to make use of a toned stock and an 
image of any desired color. In fact, such an 
adjustment is strongly advised in portraiture, 
where a buff or yellow stock and an image in 
warm black or brown will strongly aid sugges- 
tion and help to produce a sense of likeness. 
The writer has produced a most satisfactory 
portrait when working in carbon by employing 
a yellow transfer paper, making the first print- 
ing in red chalk, and superposing on this sev- 
eral light printings in ivory black, the finished 
picture having warm-toned lights, the grada- 
tions shading through brown and warm black 
into black, and the effect being impressive in the 
sense of actuality conveyed. This is a different 
matter from loading the paper with glowing 
colors robbed from the prismatic spectrum. 



Finally, composition, atmosphere, and the 
interest derived from a beautiful raperfieia] 
texture are as well within the grasp of the pho- 
tographer as of the painter, so there seen is to 
be no reason why the camera should not vie 
with and perhaps even surpass the brush in this 
phase of art; it depends entirely on the users 
of the two mediums which shall prove the bet- 
ter. When we come to the realms of landscape, 
genre and illustration the case is different, for 
here the finest expression demands originative 
imagination and the camera falls below the 
freer and less literal mediums; it is true thai 
imaginative conceptions can be expressed by 
photography, but only at the cost of excessive 
labor and effort. Briefly put, this means that 
in portraiture the camera does easily what is 
difficult of accomplishment by other mediums, 
but in the world of the imagination it is handi- 
capped by the very factor which makes it strong 
in the portrayal of human character and 

Turning now from abstract considerations 
to the more concrete phases of the work, we 
must first discuss the setting, that is, the loca- 



tion where the work is to be done, and we find 
three fundamental possibilities offering them- 
selves—the home, the outdoors and the studio, 
the studio being mentioned last because it is, in 
the writer's opinion, the least desirable of the 
three. Unless the sitter is an actor or a pro- 
fessional model, he must be an unusual person 
to be entirely free from self-consciousness when 
facing the camera, and it requires a constant 
effort on the part of the photographer to over- 
come this unfavorable tendency, which may 
absolutely inhibit a characteristic pose and ex- 
pression. Self-consciousness is at a maximum 
in unfamiliar surroundings, being markedly 
less when the work is done in the sitter's home, 
so that the photographer's task is greatly sim- 
plified by going outside the studio. This is so 
emphatically the case that the writer will not 
make a portrait in his studio if it can possibly 
be avoided, children and adolescents — who are 
much inclined to self-consciousness in the best 
of circumstances — being especially difficult to 
handle in a strange place. Further advantages 
of working in the sitter's home are that the 
furniture, accessories and settings are those cus- 



tomarily associated with the individual, this 
being often no small help when a characteriza- 
tion is desired; that in the case of women there 
is usually a larger selection of clothing to work 
with (and most women are glad to afford the 
photographer an opportunity of working with 
i al gowns) ; and that it is easier to per- 
suade a mother to let her child he photographed 
in ordinary play clothes, a youngster in his 
(or her) best bib and tucker being one of the 
stiffest, most uncomfortable specimens of 
humanity imaginable. It is unfortunately the 
case that " dress-up " clothes are usually stiff 
and uncomfortable, whatever the wearer's age, 
but this regrettable circumstance is still fur- 
ther complicated in the case of children by the 
fact that most mothers seem to regard a child 
in much the same light as an animated toy, 
and decorate it with pretty much all the frills 
and fanciful ornaments that can conveniently be 
attached to its attire, the final result being un- 
pbotographable to the last degree. However 
it is sometimes possible to catch a child when 
dirty and happy, in which case the youngster's 
father is fairly certain to like the picture, 



though the mother will prefer the more elab- 
orate one. 

Still another advantage of going to the sit- 
ter's home lies in the fact that if the photog- 
rapher works always in the same place there is 
great danger of his falling into a rut and pro- 
ducing stereotyped results, for it takes a per- 
son of exceptional originality to see new things 
in a place with which he is acquainted, and there 
is a decided temptation to repeat striking or 
interesting effects of light and pattern regard- 
less of their suitability to the case at hand. This 
danger is avoided or minimized by going out, 
for conditions are then never twice alike, so that 
not only is monotony of result avoided but the 
photographer becomes a more versatile tech- 
nician, since he is working with constantly 
varying intensities of light instead of with the 
relatively uniform illumination of the studio. 
For these reasons the writer prefers to use a 
studio merely as a reception-room and work- 
shop, going out for sitting whenever it is at all 
possible to do so, the results of several years 
of portrait work having confirmed him in this 
opinion, which was originally reached through 



l process of deductive reasoning. Incidentally, 
he would add that when a large camera is used 
for home portraiture it is a mistake to carry it 
any great distance; a dollar or so for a taxieab 
will be well spent, the saving of nervous energy 
being reflected in the finished prints. Portrai- 
ture, when attacked with the intensity and 
concentration necessary to produce the finest 
results, involves no small drain on the nervous 
system, and a man cannot command his reserves 
of energy when tired. 

A well-known worker has been heard to say 
that the outdoors is not suitable for portrait inc. 
even going so far as to assert that it is impos- 
sible to secure satisfactory portraits in those 
ei renin stances, but the writer dissents most vig- 
orously from this proposition, and, in fact, will 
say that if the conditions are at all favorable 
it is even easier to obtain good portraits out-of- 
doors than in. It is merely necessary to point 
to the work of D. O. Hill to prove that por- 
traiture of the very highest order is possible 
out-of-doors, and though the writer does not 
presume to institute any comparison between 
himself and the great Scotchman, he would 



nevertheless remark that both the Portrait of 
Mrs. George B. Hollister (page 292) and 
Priscilla (page 280) were made out-of-doors. 
The reason for this difference of opinion is 
probably to be found in the fact that the worker 
who condemned outdoor light is inclined to 
favor a low key, and it is undeniably difficult to 
secure good low-toned effects out-of-doors ; but, 
as will be seen later, the writer does not favor or 
approve this style in portrait work, and there 
is no trouble at all in obtaining high-keyed or 
full-scale effects in the open air. It is simply 
a question of using judgment and discrimina- 
tion in arranging the composition, and of hav- 
ing a fairly good grasp of technic. Further, 
the mere fact of going out-of-doors to pose, 
since it is beyond the experience of the average 
person, aids in doing away with that bug-bear 
of the portrait worker — self-consciousness ; and 
the briefer exposures possible are a great help 
in the case of children. 

It sometimes happens that the sitter's home 
is a small or poorly lighted city apartment, that 
the fact of the portrait's being taken is to be 
kept secret from some member of the family, or 



that some other cause prevents tlu- work being 
done «it the home or out-of-doors, and in such 
an event it becomes necessary to make the sit- 
ting at the studio. Such contingencies must, 
of course, be provided for, and in order to 1 1 
them, as well as to provide a suitable place for 
receiving visitors, the studio should be finished 
as nearly as possible like an attractive living 
room, with simple but good furniture, a 
toned wall of gray or tan, a few good framed 
pictures on the walls, hard-wood floors, an 
Oriental rug or two, and, if possible, a broad 
window-seat. The camera should be kept out 
of sight until required, for the same reason that 
a surgeon or a dentist conceals his instruments 
— to avoid making the patient nervous — and 
the skylight should be conspicuous by its 
absence. One of the ablest of portrait photog- 
raphers lias said: "I work anywhere — living- 
room, bedroom, butler's pantry, anywhere. The 
ordinary studio, with its skylight, I regard as 
a famous place for propagating tropical plants, 
but for no other purpose. 94 It may not he 
amiss to state that the writer's portrait of his 

mother (page 1G) was made in the kitchen. 


simply because it was the only room in the house 
which afforded the desired combination of back- 
ground and light. We never see our acquain- 
tances under a skylight, so why photograph 
them there? The ordinary window will be 
ample for all we shall need, will give sufficient 
illumination, and affords truthful as well as 
pleasing effects. But if possible it should be 
a south window. The painter chooses a north 
light because he must have his light steady and 
comparatively uniform for hours at a time, and 
photographers have blindly and unthinkingly 
followed his example, despite the fact that with 
camera exposures, being a matter of a few sec- 
onds at most, variations in the light are of no 
consequence. Further, a south light will do 
all that a north light will and much that it can- 
not, many very delightful effects being secured 
by direct sunlight, either on the sitter or on the 

In the event of being unable to secure a 
location affording a satisfactory light, the pho- 
tographer will do well to employ some form of 
artificial illumination, this being, indeed, useful 
at times as an adjunct to daylight on dull days 



ur in the evening, or for supplementary light- 
ing, to raise the key of excessively heavy shad- 
ows or to furnish effects of cross-lighting. Fd 
portraiture the writer prefers to use a 1000- 
wati Mazda, cither alone or in conjunction with 
a 500- watt lamp of the same type, these lights 
being less harsh than the arc- and consequently 
more likely to afford a satisfactory quality of 
modeling. Suitable reflectors, of a form ap- 
proaching but not quite coinciding with the 
parabotic, should be provided, and the whole 
may be held in a clamp which, being attached 
to a vertical iron rod mounted on a movable 
base, permits the lamp to be lowered to the 
floor or elevated to any height up to about eight 
feet, and to be adjusted at any required angle. 
It is an easy matter to fit diffusing screens of 
tracing paper, but these should be so arranged 
as to be easily removed, for the lamps will often 
be used without them. These lamps give very 
good color values without a ray-filter, and cor- 
rect values with a light screen, and, if panchro- 
matic plates are used, permit very brief 
exposures, a fraction of a second being suffi- 
cient at an aperture of F/5.5. The expense of 



operating such lamps amounts to about ten 
cents an hour for the 1000-watt lamp and half 
that for the 500-watt one, on a basis of ten cents 
per kilowatt hour for electric current, this being 
greatly in excess of that involved in the use of 
the mercury-vapor arc, which is often recom- 
mended for studio work, and is undeniably 
cheap, convenient and easy to use. However, 
the latter form of illuminant is practically de- 
void of all but ultra-violet and violet rays (at 
least so far as studio work is concerned) so it 
is evidently incapable of giving correct color 
values, and the writer feels that the more ex- 
pensive lamp will more than pay for itself in 
better results, together with the saving due to 
minimizing the need for retouching. A spot- 
light will often be found very useful in por- 
trait work as well as in illustration, and Eugene 
Hutchinson has suggested to the writer a sim- 
ple form which he finds to work satisfactorily. 
It consists merely of a 200-watt Mazda rigidly 
mounted on a rod, with a sleeve sliding on this 
rod, and a reflector mounted on the sleeve, so 
that the light may be concentrated or spread 
simply by sliding the reflector backward or 



forward, the whole apparatus being, of course, 

attached to a vertical rod by means of a swivel 
clamp, to permit of elevating or lowering and 
of tilting. 

When the work is done out-of-doors or in the 
sitter's home, the background and accessories 
will he those which offer themselves, and we 
cannot condemn too severely the custom of tak- 
ing painted backgrounds when going out to do 
home portrait work, since this is deliberately to 
discard one of the chief advantages of working 
outside the studio. The photographer should, 
therefore, accustom himself to looking at the 
various possible settings simply as arrange- 
ments of masses — patterns in light and dark 
ignoring their actual character. It will be 
found that infinite possibilities present them- 
selves — a wall, a painting, a piece of furniture, 
a door, a doorway into another room, a door- 
Way leading to the open air, a grape arbor, a 
tree-trunk, a distant landscape, the open iky, 
a window, a distant building, a sloping lawn, a 
piece of tapestry and a staircase being among 
the many things which have at various times 
served the writer for this purpose. Acces- 




From a Gum Print 


sories should be few in number and inconspic- 
uous, the ideal here being that enunciated in an 
earlier chapter — just so much detail as aids the 
expression of the principal idea, and no more. 
A small table, a chair, a vase of flowers, a book, 
a microscope, a fan, a portfolio of prints, pal- 
ette and brush, a pair of gloves, any of these 
or of thousands of other things will serve. 
Whatever is used, however, must be of such a 
nature as to combine harmoniously with the 
rest of the picture, and it is often the case that 
no accessories at all will be introduced, pose, 
expression and lighting being relied on for the 
desired explanation of character. If the work 
is to be done in the studio the settings should be 
of the same kind as those found in the home, 
the painted backgrounds of the average studio 
being an abomination, especially the variety 
known as " scenic. ,, These never have a real 
appearance but are always an obvious counter- 
feit — they remain inevitably " a painted ship 
upon a painted ocean." Nothing can be more 
ludicrously incongruous than a figure under an 
obvious indoor lighting with a landscape back- 
ground which includes a house that judged by 

17 25 7 


atmospheric perspective is six feet from the 
sitter, but judged by linear perspective is a 
quarter of a mile away — nothing, that is, unless 
perhaps it be a figure, still in an indoor light, 
posed against a window which throws no ves- 
tige of light whatever upon the figure. The 
writer has seen both of these examples of lack 
of unity, and that not in a showcase on the East 
Side of New York, but among the work of men 
who profess to be the ultra-fashionable and 
highest priced photographers of a large city. 
Even the clouded backgrounds smack of the 
studio, and when the desired effect calls for a 
simple modulated background the photog- 
rapher is advised to use a plain dark or medium- 
toned one and spend a few minutes working on 
the negative with pencil or air-brush, for he 
can thus introduce the light precisely where it 
is needed, instead of being obliged to depend 
on the stereotyped and mechanical ideas of l 

If such a thing is within the range of possi- 
bility, as often happens in small towns or even 
in suburban places of considerable size, one of 
the most valuable of all adjuncts to a profes- 



sional studio is a garden, since this will afford 
opportunity for outdoor work in a setting de- 
signed by the photographer himself to meet his 
own requirements. It need not be a large pi 
but it will be found that the formal type will 
prove more useful than the wilder and more 
natural sort which is more pleasing to many 
people than the type indicated. A brick wall, a 
pergola, a few benches of stone or concrete, a 
vase and a statuette on pedestals, a small foun- 
tain, two or three small trees, a bit of lawn 
with a few flowers and a brick wall partly over- 
grown with ivy will furnish many settings for 
portraits of the most delightful character, espe- 
cially when the sitters are women or children, 
and will amply repay the cost, not only in di- 
rect results but also in the pleasure afforded the 
photographer himself. Even in a large city it 
is sometimes possible to construct a small gar- 
den on the roof of an office-building, and the 
writer knows one photographer in the center 
of New York City, many of whose happiest 
results have been secured in such a place, which 
of course, can often be used in winter as well 
as in summer. 



The type of camera, M well as the size, must 
be left to each individual to determine for him- 
self. Inasmuch as the writer prefers bromoil to 
any other printing medium, he generally uses 
a 4X5 reflecting camera, but it is cheerfully 
admitted that bromoil is by no means a suitable 
medium for the average run of professional 
work, being distinctly adapted either to ama- 
teur work or to the very highest and most ex- 
pensive class of professional portraiture, and 
in the great majority of cases a contact print- 
ing paper or an enlarging paper of the bromide 
type will be employed. For contact work plat- 
inum — or its newer equivalent, palladium — is 
probably superior to anything else, but many 
workers prefer one or another of the various 
silver papers, which, though possessing the ad- 
vantage of not requiring sunlight for printing, 
have neither the scale, the surface quality nor 
the permanence of platinum. It is, however* 
possible to make direct enlargements on silver 
papers from small negatives, and this is in their 
favor, for, assuming that the print has no very 
heavy shadows and is to be framed, enlarge- 
ments on satiable bromide papers mav be prae- 



tically indistinguishable, so far as appearance 
is concerned, from contact prints on platinum. 
The writer has settled on the type and size of 
camera indicated after several years of experi- 
ence with other types and sizes, and believes 
it to be the most satisfactory unless the prints 
are to be made in platinum, carbon or gum. 
When it is a question of either oil printing or 
the use of a silver paper, the large camera pre- 
sents no advantages, and has the drawbacks of 
bulk, weight and cost of plates; though, until 
some knowledge of composition has been 
gained, it will probably be better for the student 
to work with a larger instrument, a large 
ground glass being easier to compose the pic- 
ture on. 

As to retouching, the author's recommenda- 
tion is identical with Punch's famous advice 
to those about to marry—" Don't." In the old 
days of the wet collodion plate, when color-sen- 
sitive emulsions were unknown, the color-blind 
plate exaggerated wrinkles and skin blemishes, 
since these, being mainly of a red or yellow 
tinge, photographed much darker than they 
appeared to the eye. It falsified gradations as 



well, for the shadow side of a face is seldom of 
the same color as the lighter portions, objects, 
of course, taking their color largely from the 
light which illuminates them. Therefore, the 
retouching pencil was resorted to in order to 
secure a pleasing effect, and a conventionalized 
tradition of retouching has grown up, until at 
the present day negatives are retouched and 
" modeled " by rule, the work often being done 
by someone who has never even laid eyes on 
the sitter. There is no excuse for such untruth- 
ful and inartistic methods, for the modern pan- 
chromatic plate will render values exactly as 
they appear to the eye, and (especially when 
used in conjunction with a soft-focus lens) 
will produce negatives that need no retouching, 
the greater cost of the plates being offset by 
the saving in the retoucher's wages, not to men- 
tion the vast improvement in results, for the 
lens and plate will give better modeling than 
the pencil in the hands of some eighteen-dollar- 
a-week girl who has never seen the sitter.* The 

• For a more complete discussion of the use in portraiture of 
the color-sensitive plate and its adjunct, the ray-filter, see " Pic- 
torial Photography, Its Principles and Practice,"' Chapter III. 




writer retouches — in the accepted sense of the 
word — probably not more than one per cent 
of his portrait negatives, and these only when 
some inherent facial blemish or false value pre- 
vents the securing of a characteristic result by 
direct methods. So far as backgrounds are 
concerned, and the pulling together of a com- 
position by modification of relative values, hand 
work is more frequent, but it is generally 
confined to raising or lowering the value of 
relatively large areas, by the handling of the 
inking brush. 

A discussion of dark-room and printing- 
room methods is beyond the scope of a book of 
this character, but the writer would take occa- 
sion to mention two convictions which are the 
result of many years of experience, though they 
are at variance with the beliefs of numerous 
photographers. The first is that none of the 
developers in common use is any better than 
any other so far as results are concerned, the 
choice being purely a matter of convenience and 
cost ; the second is that tank development gives 
a larger percentage of good negatives than any 
other method. The writer observes with pleas- 


***** ^ 



• '«»»•* 


ure that the Dumber of photographers who use 
the tank is constantly increasing, the objection 
to it on account of its mechanical nature being 
met by the argument that the mechanical part 
of photography is, precisely, mechanical. He 
feels that, when the use of the tank and the 
panchromatic plate becomes general, photog- 
raphy will have made a great stride in the direc- 
tion of truthful and — though the words are far 
from synonymous — artistic results. 

One of the first and most important injunc- 
tions that can be given to a portrait photog- 
rapher is: Do not hurry. It is said that in 
some of the large city studios the operator is 
expected to make from thirty to thirty-five sit- 
tings a day, which figures out about one every 
fifteen minutes, and it is evident that work 
done in such haste must necessarily be of the 
most conventional style imaginable; it is utterly 
out of the question for anyone to obtain even a 
moderately good grasp of another's character 
at a glance — though it is well to endeavor to 
do so — and the operator who works in the fash- 
ion indicated is not an artist but a mechanic; 

his work is comparable to that of the man who 


runs a turret lathe, and requires very little 
more intelligence than the latter task. The 
painter has an excellent opportunity for study- 
ing his sitter's character, since they spend sev- 
eral hours together at different times during 
the construction of a portrait, and the photog- 
rapher may well profit by his example. The 
writer endeavors, whenever possible, to inter- 
view the prospective sitter and make an ap- 
pointment for the actual sitting, so that he has 
at least two chances to observe the person whom 
he is to photograph, and this custom operates 
in two ways, for it not only permits the worker 
to become acquainted with the sitter, but also 
affords the latter the opportunity of getting 
to know the photographer, so that he will be less 
self-conscious when the sitting takes place. 
This is no small advantage, and is of especial 
moment in the case of children. Failing this, it 
will practically always (unless personally ac- 
quainted with the sitter) prove a good invest- 
ment of time to sit down and converse for a while 
before starting work. The writer has at times 
spent half an hour or an hour very profitably 
in this manner, the conversation serving the 



double purpose of affording the photographer 
an opportunity of observing the sitter and at 
the same time putting the latter at ease. It is 
desirable that the photographer have a broad 
general education, so that he can take an intel- 
ligent interest in any subject and can gradu- 
ally lead the conversation toward the sitter's 
hobby, but he must at any rate be able to ap- 
pear interested in some topic which is of interest 
to the sitter, and thus lead the latter to forget 
his self-consciousness and to display animation, 
when he is certain, in the enthusiasm of the 
moment, to reveal characteristic poses and 

One of the most interesting and at the same 
time difficult sitters the writer ever encountered 
was an Antarctic explorer, a man of tremen- 
dous force of character but at the same time of 
such extreme modesty that he was unable to 
conceive of anyone wanting a portrait of him, 
an inability which caused him to seem listless 
and devoid of animation, but the ice was finally 
and effectively broken by a question. This 
explorer had encountered hardship and priva- 
tion in the form of cold, hunger, danger and 



hard work, which would have been fatal to any 
but a trained athlete of high vitality, and, in- 
deed, was fatal to two of his companions. The 
writer asked: " Did you find that the hardships 
you experienced in the Antarctic had any per- 
manently deleterious effect on your health?" 
and the reply, given in tones of utter and sin- 
cere amazement, was : 

" Hardships? Why, we didn't have any 
hardships! Well, that is, aside from starva- 
tion; that was rather uncomfortable, but ex- 
cept for that we had a pretty easy time of it." 

From that the conversation led on to polar 
exploration in general, and the result was one 
of the writer's most successful portraits. In- 
cidentally, the writer has been wondering ever 
since just what that man would regard as hard- 
ship! Some workers go so far as to employ 
an entertainer, a person whose function it is 
to engage the sitter in conversation, the photog- 
rapher making the exposures without letting 
the sitter know what is taking place; but, 
though good results have unquestionably been 
secured in this manner, the writer feels that 
with the average adult it is better to let him 



know when the picture is being taken, a con- 
centration of interest and attention being thus 
obtained. However, with children or neurotic 
individuals the former plan is often the better. 
When it comes to posing, here again Punch's 
advice is sound. The best method is to place a 
chair in the desired location, in such a position 
that when the sitter takes his place he naturally 
seats himself in the proper relation to the light, 
or if he is to stand the place may be indicated 
and he be invited to step to it. Further posing 
must be done by the sitter himself in response 
to suggestions: " Just turn the head a little this 
way," or " Just let the right hand drop on the 
arm of the chair," or the like, for the photog- 
rapher must never permit himself, for any con- 
sideration whatever, to touch the sitter, the 
most that can be allowed being an adjust- 
ment of clothing or draperies, and even this is 
far better done by the sitter. A touch is ahn< >st 
certain not only to make the sitter freeze in the 
position to which he is moved, but also to induce 
a defensive attitude of mind which is fatal to 
the best results, this being particularly the case 
with women and children. The only exception 



to this rule is when the sitter is a man and the 
photographer is an attractive woman; in such 
a case no harm is done beyond the fact that, 
the average man being as vain as a peacock, a 
touch is likely to produce a self-satisfied smirk. 
The photographer should learn to work 
quietly but with decision and certainty. Noth- 
ing so fatigues a sitter as to be asked to change 
a pose and then return to it again, and any evi- 
dence of nervousness on the part of the man 
behind the camera, any jumping around or 
rushing from one thing to another, any hasty 
seizing of plate-holders or other signs of excite- 
ment will communicate a tenseness to the sitter 
unless he is an unusually phlegmatic individual, 
and even then will give an unfavorable impres- 
sion of the photographer's ability, as will also 
any evidence of mistakes. We are all apt at 
times to forget to draw the slide of the plate- 
holder before opening the shutter, but we need 
not let the sitter know it when we do. Rubin- 
stein once remarked : "In a recital I drop 
enough notes to make a sonata," but only those 
of his hearers who were trained musicians were 
conscious of the fact. 



The posing, then, should be done by the sit- 
ter himself, but that is no reason why the 
photographer should accept any pose which 
may offer. With children the hest plan ifl to 
follow them around and wait until a sat is fac- 
tor)'' pose occurs, and for this reason the writer 
emphatically prefers a reflecting camera to any 
other type, working out-of-doors whenever 
possible and making numerous exposures. 
Making two dozen small negatives and select- 
ing the best four or live for enlargement is far 
easier and more likely to produce spontaneous 
and good results than attempting to hold a 
child in one location for half a dozen exposures 
with a view or studio camera, and enlargements 
or enlarged negatives can readily he made, los- 
ing none of the quality of the original. The chief 
danger in working thus is that since the child 
will very likely he moving from place to place 

the photographer may concentrate all his atten- 
tion on the figure and forget to observe tin 
background which exists at the time of making 
the exposure. This fault must, of course, he 

guarded against, and it will necessarily force 
the worker into the habit of rapid observation, 



BY CATIIKRINK < <>| l 1 1 IC 

From an Oil Print 


but even so the method is, in the writer's opin- 
ion, preferable to the use of a less mobile piece 
of apparatus. The writer has made over a 
hundred finished pictures of his two children, 
working by both methods, and feels that the 
one indicated has completely demonstrated its 
superior worth. With adults, however, he pre- 
fers to work direct (unless prints larger than 
8X10 are desired) since grown persons are 
more readily controlled. 

It is no more possible to give complete in- 
structions for posing than to tell how to read 
character, but a few suggestions may be made. 
The first has to do with the height of the cam- 
era, which should always be adjusted with ref- 
erence to the effect desired and not at all with 
a view to the convenience of the photographer, 
as is generally done. Placing the camera low 
tends to give an air of height and dignity to the 
sitter, but is, unfortunately, dangerous in the 
case of stout persons, since it emphasizes the 
chin and lower portion of the face at the ex- 
pense of the upper part of the head. Subjects 
of this type should generally stand, a half or 
three-quarter length being made, should rarely 



be posed with the face directly toward the cam 
era, and should still more rarely be illuminated 
with a flat light, a three-quarter front view in 
conjunction with a side lighting tending to 
make the face look thinner. Conversely, a thin 
person may more readily face the camera and 
the light may come more around toward the 
front, it being a mistake to suppose, as do so 
many writers, that an appearance of rotundity 
can be given only by having the light fall on 
the face at an angle; if the values are correctly 
rendered the head will appear in three dimen- 
sions with the flattest possible front lighting. 
However, a flat lighting, by illuminating wrin- 
kles and character lines, tends to smooth these 
out, but as the light travels around toward the 
side the shadows become longer and more ap- 
parent, the contours of the face becoming 
longer and thinner, so the three-quarter or side 
type of illumination will generally be employed 
with persons of strongly marked character. 
The pose which will be found least generally 
useful is that which shows a full front view of 
both body and head, since this is symmetrical 
and formal, and is apt to give a stolid or even a 



stodgy look. On the other hand, to show either 
body or head in front view and the other in 
profile is likely to give a strained effect, for 
this is a difficult pose to hold. Generally speak- 
ing, the greatest feeling of animation will be 
secured when the body is shown from three- 
quarters front view to full profile, the head 
being slightly turned toward the camera and 
the eyes directed either straight ahead or a lit- 
tle more toward the camera than the face. In 
other words* if we suppose the sitter to be di- 
rectly facing the camera and the three signifi- 
cant factors of body, head and eyes to be grad- 
ually turned away, the body should be the first 
to leave the direct front line, the head the next, 
and the eyes the last, though the extent to which 
each should be turned will necessarily depend 
on the individual case. It must be under- 
stood, however that this is only a broad gen- 
eral rule which will by no means invariably be 
followed. A pensive look is often secured by 
turning the head more away from the camera 
than the body and letting the eyes follow the 
direction of the head, though if this pose of 
body and head be used and the eyes be turned 

18 273 


toward the lens the effect is apt to be coquettish 
(especially if the head be slightly tipped for- 
ward, so that the sitter is looking up), and if 
the effort for coquettishness is carried too far 
a look of slyness will result. 

As much attention should be given to the 
posing of the hands as to any other elenunt, 
and it is almost invariably the case that they 
chould be given something to do, since few per- 
sons can pose empty hands well. It has been 
said that " women can sometimes pose empty 
hand gracefully, men seldom, girls never/' and 
to this it might be added that a boy's only no- 
tion of the satisfactory disposition of his hands 
is to put them into his pockets — an act which 
is in itself by no means to be ignored as an ex- 
pression of adolescent shyness. A book, a 
flower, a fan, gloves, a parasol or cane, a cigar 
or cigarette, or anything which offers the hands 
a reason for their position will be found help- 
ful, and it may incidentally be remarked that 
a man who is to be photographed should always 
be invited to smoke, his self-consciousness being 
greatly mitigated thereby, not to mention the 
fact that a great many men are more recogniz- 



able to their friends when smoking than when 
not. It will be found that the average person 
has an altogether erroneous idea of the true 
relative size of hands and head, so that if they 
are portrayed in their actual relation the hands 
will seem much too large. It is true that the 
short-focus lenses too frequently used for por- 
traiture unduly exaggerate the size of the 
hands, since these ordinarily lie in a plane 
nearer the camera than the face, but apart from 
this the photographer will have to treat the 
hands carefully if a satisfactory result is to be 
obtained. This may be accomplished by keep- 
ing the light on them in rather a lower key 
than that on the face, by having the edges 
rather than the backs toward the camera, or by 
having them partly covered by a sleeve or shawl 
or other object, or by a combination of these 
methods. A very decided effort to pose the 
hands, with several changes of position, will 
almost always end in a stiff, ungraceful pos- 
ture, when the only thing to be done is to shake 
them loose and start all over again, being care- 
ful not to go too far the second time. 

It is often stated by writers on portraiture 


that modern clothes are stiff and ungraceful 
and consequently unpicturesque, hut the pres- 
ent writer does not feel that they should there- 
fore be ignored. Ungraceful they surely are, 
as compared with attire which has been worn 
at various times in the past (though it may l>e 
doubted if any less graceful fashions ever ex- 
isted than those of Elizabethan and Jacobean 
days) ; but they are full of character, and the 
feeling that they are unpicturesque probably 
arises from the fact that Romance is never what 
is happening but always what has happened — 
" The king was with us — yesterday." It often 
happens that a woman will wish to be photo- 
graphed in her best party frock, and there is 
nothing to do but to comply with her wishes, 
afterward persuading her, if possible, to let her- 
self be portrayed in her everyday clothes, the 
latter being usually more pleasing to her fam- 
ily than the more formal garments. It is, how- 
ever, a mistake to give too much importance to 
the clothes, whatever they may be, and it is al- 
ways best to subordinate them to the sitter. 
Men's clothes are generally less expressive of 
the wearer's personality than women's, and 



may be still further subdued, but it must never 
be forgotten that everyday clothes are always 
in some degree expressive of the sitter's per- 
sonality, evening dress being stereotyped in 
form and less characteristic. The author's two 
bug-bears in the way of clothes are a man's 
evening suit and the conventional bridal gown: 
if there is anything more difficult for person- 
ality and character to shine through than these, 
he has never encountered it, and, indeed, when 
he meets either of these forms of dress he gen- 
erally throws up his hands, makes a picture of 
the clothes, and lets it go at that; though he 
remembers with feelings of gratitude one bride 
who designed and made her own wedding 
dress, with the result that it was not only beau- 
tiful but also very characteristic, and exceed- 
ingly photographable. Some photographers 
endeavor to surmount the difficulties presented 
by feminine attire by making a bust or half- 
length portrait after draping the sitter with 
chiffon or some similar material, but this is not 
meeting the problem squarely; it is merely an 
evasion, as much as vignetting is an evasion of 
the problem of composition, and therefore can- 
not recommend itself to a sincere worker. 



When it comes to posing more than one 
figure the matter is somewhat different, more 
of the pictorial element entering into the task. 
A well-known writer has said " The union of a 
single figure with its frame will present about 
all the known difficulties in composition, and 
that of two figures a few extra. With three 
figures, things are less distracting and become 
more settled."* It may be stated absolutely and 
definitely that when two figures are to be posed 
one of them must be subordinated to the other, 
either by lighting, by pose, by size or by plac- 
ing within the frame. The attempt to give 
equal importance to both is foredoomed to fail- 
ure by the law which says " Thou shalt not 
paint two pictures on one canvas. ,, One very 
satisfactory solution of the problem, however, 
is to have one of the sitters looking at the cam- 
era and the other looking at the first, another 
being to have the attention of both directed 
toward a common center of interest, subordina- 
tion being obtained in the latter case by size or 

•Henry It. Poore, In "Photo Miniature No. 64" (Figure 
Composition), a work which is recommended to all who are 
interested in the subject 



illumination. When three or more figures are 
to be combined several may be subordinated to 
one, and one of the most satisfactory solutions 
of the problem that the writer has ever seen in 
photography is found in Miss Gilpin's picture, 
The Prelude (page 166) , which, though funda- 
mentally genre, has nevertheless considerable 
portrait value. Mr. Hiller's picture (page 28) 
also deserves careful attention in this connection. 
When making large groups, such as college 
classes or fraternal organizations, the prob- 
lem becomes almost entirely one of pattern and 
very fine opportunities for arrangement fre- 
quently offer themselves, the least satisfactory 
solution being found in the not unusual method 
of placing the sitters in a semi-circle and mak- 
ing the exposure with a panoramic camera. 
This method has the sole advantage that no 
member of the group is any less conspicuous 
than another. As to its artistic value, no dis- 
cussion is possible, for the same reason that pre- 
vents a description of the snakes of Iceland; 
but it must be admitted that from the point of 
view of the commercial worker the merit of the 
scheme is considerable, almost every artist havr 



ing at times suffered from the determination 
of each of the members of a group to have 
equal importance in the picture space, even 
Rembrandt's great picture, The Company of 
Francis Banning Cocq — commonly called The 
Night Watch — having been rejected because 
it did not fulfil this requirement. The writer 
at times finds it a good idea to make two or 
three negatives of a group, subordinating dif- 
ferent individuals in the different pictures, 
when some of the sitters will order prints from 
one of the plates and others from another, unity 
being preserved in all. 

The choice of scale and of key is as important 
in portraiture as in any other branch of art, and 
the fundamental thing to remember is that our 
impression of a Caucasian includes a light 
(though not white) face. The value of the 
skin is unquestionably lower than that of white 
linen, though, the face being of a yellowish 
cast, this value is not so dark to the eye as to 
the ordinary plate. Many photographers, in 
their effort to secure a proper relationship, re- 
tain gradation in, say, a collar, making the face 
several shades darker, thus obtaining partial 



truth to fact at the cost of falsity of appear- 
ance; telling a small truth but losing a greater 
one. It must be borne in mind that yellow is 
a color the psychic effect of which is strong, 
and a yellow will seem lighter to the eye than a 
blue or a gray which reflects the same amount 
of light. It must not be supposed that the 
writer advocates the chalky, etiolated counte- 
nances which are found in the work of the 
cheaper studios, but he does insist that the face 
should have, whether by reason of its actual 
value or through contrast with its surround- 
ings, the effect of a light area, and that to ren- 
der a white man with the complexion of a 
mulatto or a negro is not good portraiture, 
though such an appearance may be quite proper 
in genre or other imaginative work. This ex- 
plains the author's reason for objecting to the 
use of a low key in portrait work. 

The choice of scale and key largely influences 
the rendering of character, and it may be set 
down as being generally a mistake to have large 
areas of dark in the portrait of a child, though, 
of course, spaces of dark may be used for the 
sake of accent. We are accustomed to associate 



brightness and vivacity with children, and these 
qualities are suggested by a high-keyed print, 
transparent and full of light, it being particu- 
larly the case when working out-of-doors that a 
sense of light and air is obtained by means of 
brilliant lights and clear, fully illuminated 
shadows. To a less extent the same is true of 
portraits of women, though here the scale may 
be extended, more contrast being used, even (in 
the case of women of strong character) ap- 
proaching the full-scale, powerful effects which 
are valuable in portraying men. Evidently, 
men less accustomed to commanding positions, 
that is, artists, writers, students and the like, 
approach more nearly to the feminine gentle- 
ness of character, and they, since their work is 
more in the realm of the imagination, are gen- 
erally to be rendered with less contrast and 
vigor than those who have charge of large af- 
fairs. It often happens, nevertheless, that nun 
of a retiring nature have quite as much fore 
character as those of apparently more vigorous 
impulses; each case must be treated on its own 
merits, though it is worthy of note that research 
into natund phenomena calls for quite as much 





concentration and determination as the com- 
mand of an army, so that a scientist is likely to 
have as strongly marked a face as a general. It 
might be supposed that Mrs. Kasebier's print, 
The Bride (page 254) , is in contravention of the 
principle of adapting the key of the picture to 
the style of the subject, for here is an individual 
commonly associated with brightness and cheer- 
fulness who is nevertheless reproduced in great 
masses of dark. Consideration will show, how- 
ever, that the artist has elected to give us an 
archetype rather than a particular bride; she 
has shown the main organic lines of the subject, 
and the result is a picture rather than a por- 
trait — proving once more, if proof were neces- 
sary, that there are no rules in art. The four 
portraits by the author (pages 16, 240, 280, 
292) are given for the sake of illustrating this 
matter of scale and key, and the reader may also 
profitably study the one by Miss Collier (page 
268) in this connection, as well as the genre pic- 
tures by Miss Gilpin, Mr. White and Mr. 
Hiller (pages 166, 140 and 28). 

The matter of atmosphere is largely bound 
up with the question of scale, though the back- 



ground and accessories have also considerable 
influence. The ideal of the untrained observer 
is that the figure should " stand out," that is, 
appear to be in relief, but, as Whistler re- 
marked, it is more important that it should 
" stand in " — i.e., keep its place solidly within 
the frame, though not too solidly. A painter 
was once showing a picture to a friend and 

" Well, old man, how do you like my * Wood 
Nymphs' ?" 

"Fine! "was the reply. "Fine! They look 
as if they were actually made of wood ! " 

Our portraits should not look as if they were 
incapable of moving out of the frame, but 
rather as though they could move if they liked, 
but preferred to stay where we have put them. 
It is desirable that there should seem to be a 
very definite and appreciable depth of air both 
in front of and behind the figure, and devices 
innumerable are employed to secure this effect. 
The figure may be attached to the frame by its 
own lines, by the lines of furniture or acces- 
sories in the background, by a background gra- 
dation, or by a combination of these methods, 



examples being found in the accompanying 
illustrations, which show all the means enum- 
erated. The custom so often followed of plac- 
ing a light portion of the figure against a dark 
background area, and vice versa, is generally 
destructive of atmosphere, causing spottiness 
and making the figure "jumpy"; but a re- 
versal of the process, in which a light area 
grades into a light background, and dark into 
dark, is productive of great breadth and solid- 
ity. The use of what is termed the " lost and 
found outline," where the edges of the figure 
merge into the background, appearing again 
by reason of contrast as we follow them around 
the picture space, also gives breadth and firm- 
ness, and effectually serves to connect the 
figure with the frame, being probably the 
strongest of all methods for securing the desired 
holding of the picture within the space assigned 
to it. A sense of atmosphere is often obtained 
through the use of leading lines conducting the 
eye back into the picture, and a foreground ob- 
ject is at times employed to set the figure back, 
though this device savors rather of cheapness 
and sensationalism, a proper adjustment of 



values being preferable when it is desired to 
secure a sense of air between the spectator and 
the sitter. A background object nearly lost in 
shadow, or indistinct in outline, is often valu- 
able in making clear that there is space between 
the sitter and the background, but whatever 
methods are used for securing atmosphere, the 
artist will take care so to balance one thing with 
another that the machinery is not apparent ex- 
cept on careful examination, only the finished 
result being ordinarily seen. 

The fundamental principles of composition, 
of course, hold good in portraiture as in all 
other work, and it is of primary importance to 
remember two facts: the first is that a portrait 
should also be a picture, and the second is that 
it should be a portrait first and a picture af't< r- 
ward. These facts have already been stated, 
but it can do no harm to repeat them, lest the 
worker be led astray by examples which do not 
conform to the fundamental principles of art, 
these requiring unity and sincerity to be pres- 
ent above and beyond all other considerations. 

There are several courses of study open to 
the portrait worker and necessary to his suc- 



cess in his chosen field. It has already been 
pointed out that he should possess a broad gen- 
eral education in order that he may converse 
intelligently with the sitter. There is a deeper 
reason than this, however, for such advice, since 
any study which tends to broaden a man's mind 
will necessarily make him a better artist, 
whether it be science, literature, art, music, po- 
litical economy or any other possible subject. 
It is a mistake to suppose that a specialist need 
be conversant with one thing only; the artist 
who does the best work will be found to belong 
to the ancient and honorable guild of Jacks- 
of-all-trades, reserving, however, the privilege 
of being master of one. He may take for his 
model Leonardo da Vinci, who was painter, 
sculptor, mathematician, silversmith, architect, 
mechanical, civil, hydraulic and military engi- 
neer, musician and athlete — though it may be 
doubted if any photographer is likely soon to 
rival the great Italian in his manifold activities. 
The writer spent four years in college, gradu- 
ating with an engineering degree, and though 
it is more than a decade since he has followed 
that profession he finds the knowledge and the 



habits of mind then acquired to be of inesti- 
mable advantage in his present work. 

As to the studies directly connected with the 
work of portraiture, it may be taken for 
granted that the photographer will be a capa- 
ble technician, since it is useless to endeavor to 
express ideas unless one possesses the vocabu- 
lary necessary, but this is no more than a foun- 
dation. The works of the great masters of 
portraiture — in particular, Rembrandt, Velas- 
quez, Reynolds, Gainsborough, Raeburn and 
Sargent — should receive careful attention for 
character expression, chiaroscuro and pattern: 
and in photography the camera worker may 
profitably study the prints of such artists as 
Gertrude Kasebier, D. O. Hill, Frank Eugene, 
Clarence White and Eugene Hutchinson. It 
will probably be better to study the works of 
the painters in black-and-white reproductions, 
rather than in the original, the disturbing ele- 
ment of color being thus eliminated, but care 
should be taken to see that the reproductions 
are good ones, or the values may be sadly falsi- 
fied, thus nullifying the attention paid them, or 
even leading the student astray. The best sub- 


ject of study, though, is one's fellowmen and 
women, for unless these receive due attention 
facility in character expression cannot be at- 
tained, and this subject, as has been said, can 
be studied at all times. It is an excellent plan 
for the photographer to regard each portrait 
that he makes in the light of a study, and 
though making some negatives at each sitting 
in a style with which he is familiar, to make also 
two or three purely experimental ones, as 
studies in light or pose or expression. It is not 
necessary to tell the sitter that this is being 
done, though it may sometimes be well to do so, 
an intelligent person being impressed by the 
photographer's desire for excellence and co- 
operating well in the effort; whereas one of 
lower mentality is apt to feel that the special- 
ist should be master of the subject, beyond the 
need of further study — not realizing the im- 
possibility of such a state of affairs in any 
branch of human achievement. 

It occasionally happens that one's calcula- 
tions will be upset in most astonishing fashion. 
The writer was recently called upon to make 
a portrait of a young actress, and exposed 

19 289 


twelve plates, seven of them being in accord- 
ance with his best ideals of portraiture, the 
other five purely arrangements in light and 
shade, done for his own satisfaction and carry- 
ing practically no portrait element whatever. 
On seeing the results the sitter chose the five 
" arrangements " and one of the portraits! 

One recommendation on which the author 
would lay great stress is to the effect that the 
portrait worker occasionally make an excursion 
into the domain of landscape or genre, or some 
other phase of his art. Few if any of the great 
artists have confined themselves exclusively to 
one form of expression, since they understood 
that the artist, like the athlete, is liable to grow 
stale, and that, again like the athlete, he is 
rested and his vigor is renewed by a change of 
occupation. Sooner or later the man who sticks 
to one thing will find himself falling off in 
power, and no amount of effort or detenni na- 
tion will recall the lagging energies to their 
proper pitch ; this can only be accomplished by 
rest and diversion, and the writer feels that 
every man, especially the one whose work in- 
volves the nervous tension necessary in art, 



should take an interest in athletics of some sort. 
He personally makes a point of taking several 
hours each week to box, swim or play hand- 
ball. Failing this, the portrait worker should 
unquestionably get out-of-doors with his cam- 
era occasionally and spend some time doing 
landscape work or other photography hot al- 
lied to portraiture, for he will thus be enabled 
to return to his chosen field with renewed inter- 
est and enthusiasm. 


There are two fundamental ways of pro- 
ceeding to the making of pictures by photog- 
raphy, each method having its adherents among 
pictorialists of the first rank, and these two 
forms of approach may, simply as a matter of 
differentiation, be called the view camera 
method and the hand camera method, since the 
advocates of the two plans ordinarily make use 
of these types of apparatus. 

In the first method, the artist has carefully 
thought out his picture beforehand; perhaps 
even, if he be a genre worker, making several 
rough sketches showing various arrangements 
of masses and lighting, and possible disposi- 
tions of the figures. Or, if his interest be in 
landscape, he has tramped many times over the 
portion of the country where he may be, select- 
ing locations and determining the time of year, 
the hour, and the quality of light which will 
best serve to convey the idea which he wishes 
to express. Then, when the time comes to 



translate his thought into a picture, he goes 
ahead with decision and certainty, and makes 
one or two exposures. These are developed and 
printed, and the prints are studied with care. 
Sometimes it will be found that a slight amount 
of modification, which can be done on the nega- 
tive or the print, will serve to pull the picture 
together and give a satisfactory result; and 
sometimes the whole thing will be recon- 
structed. More often still the print will be 
found to be complete and to need no further 
attention. Whichever may be the case, this 
method essentially involves careful preliminary 
consideration, and is as a rule carried out by 
means of a tripod camera of relatively large 
size, 6y 2 XSy 2f 8X10, or even at time 11X14; 
and the photographers who follow this plan 
generally print direct rather than enlarge, for 
a reason which will be discussed later. 

In the other method, the artist does not pre- 
pare himself with the same care, but chooses 
an approximate location and arrangement, or 
sometimes even goes out with his camera, having 
no settled idea of what he wishes to express. 
He makes numerous exposures, with slight 



changes in the arrangement of the figures, the 
tuning of the point of view — occasionally, even, 
several identical exposures are made, with the 
purpose of giving different after-treatment — 
and these plates are developed and printed, a 
selection being made from the set, the negative 
chosen being usually enlarged, and. If neces- 
sary, modified by hand. The followers of this 
method generally use hand cameras, often of 
the reflecting type, and make a great number 
of exposures, a notable instance being in the 
case of a well-known pictorialist who once vis- 
ited the writer at the latter's country home. 
and between his arrival at Saturday noon and 
his departure at 8:30 a.m. on the following 
Wednesday exposed fourteen dozen plates, 
three dozen of these being exposed on one ar- 
rangement of two trees and two figures. This 
averages something over three and one-half 
dozen plates a day, and when it is added that 
they were all exposed within a quarter of a 
mile of the house it will be seen that there must 
necessarily have been considerable approximate 
repetition; no country affords that many to- 
tally different subjects in the area indicated. 


PORTRAIT OF MRS. <.K<»K(.I I* H'M.l.lsrh.l 
BY PAIL I . VM»1 1^ ,,N 
From a Bromoil KnUrgmMl 


It will be understood that the many exposures 
required in marine work are not attributable 
to the same mental attitude as that here irxli- 
cated, but are necessitated by the impossibility 
of predicting accurately the form which will be 
taken by any given wave, in conjunction with 
the necessity (imposed by the muscular and 
mechanical lag) of tripping the shutter slightly 
before the wave has reached its final form. 

The author recently saw a discussion by an 
eminent worker of the first class, in which the 
artist in question declaimed against the second 
method of work, demanding to know why it 
should be necessary to make a lot of negatives 
and throw away nine-tenths of them, and ac- 
cusing the workers of the class to which he did 
not belong of carelessness, wastefulness and 
over-production. Yet when we come to con- 
sider thoughtfully the relative merits of the 
two methods it is found to be the case that 
neither of them can be regarded as absolutely 
the best, or can be recommended above the 
other, since they are not merely different tech- 
nical processes, but arise from fundamental 
psychic variations in the persons employing 



them — though, of course, either can be carried 
to excess, and whichever is used it must be to 
some degree under the control of the photog- 
rapher's will. That is, the worker of the Brit 
class must permit himself more or less response 
to impressions received at the time of making 
the exposure, and the other must compare the 
subject, in its various changes, with the condi- 
tions which have preceded those of the instant, 
refraining at times from exposing a plate and 
making suggestions for further changes which 
he thinks will afford better results. However, 
the first class ordinarily comprises individuals 
of a calm and reflective temperament, given 
to meditation, and interested in delicate tonal 
relationships, this latter characteristic being tin- 
source of the observed inclination to make di- 
rect prints, since fine gradations are sometimes 
lost in the process of enlarging or making en- 
larged negatives. On the other hand, the work- 
ers who follow the second method arc molt 
apt to be highly organized and of a nervous 
and impetuous temperament, impatient of 
restraint and eager for action, preferring to 
make their selection from a set of concrete 



images in the form of prints rather than 
from the abstract mental pictures which th« \ 
call up by an effort of the imagination. 
These artists are more interested in the thing 
said than in the manner of saying it, they 
care more for pictorial strength than for ssthet- 
icism, they admire Rembrandt and Velasquez 
more than Whistler, and Charles Reade more 
than Robert Louis Stevenson, so they fre- 
quently enlarge and print in oil or bromoil or 
gum rather than make direct prints in plat- 
inum. Each photographer must determine for 
himself which style of expression best suits his 
own needs, and it is well for him to try both 
plans. It may take him some time to decide — 
it took the writer about seven years to reach a 
final decision — but it will be time well spent, 
since the knowledge acquired in either mode 
will prove useful when working in the other, 
and the tendencies developed when working in 
either style operate as restraints when the other 
is taken up, thus minimizing the characteristic 
faults of the selected method. 

Another fact which deserves consideration in 
this connection is that, in colloquial phrase, " it 



is hard to start on a cold collar/' Whichever 
method one adopts, he must, as has I wen said, 
remain open to immediate impressions, be must 
be able to appreciate and to seize suggestions 
arising from a chance play of light or a fortu- 
itous pose, and it is unquestionably the case that 
one is not so receptive on first starting work as 
he is after making several exposures. Appa- 
rently the mind requires something akin to the 
warming-up an athlete goes through prior to 
his greatest effort, and probably every pho- 
tographer has found that his best negatives are 
those made along toward the end of the series — 
it has not infrequently happened to the writer 
to see the best arrangement of the day shortly 
after exposing his last plate! The process «.i 
selecting and deciding on arrangements tends 
to quicken the perceptions and stimulate the 
imagination, and though some workers may he 
able to warm up by making pseudo-exposures 
— tripping the shutter without drawing the 
slide — the writei- finds that this is not sin- 
ful with everyone. In fact, probably every 
photographer will work himself into the desired 
frame of mind better if he makes hona-flde ex- 


posures, and the advantage of tin hand 

when striving for this psychic condition is so 

apparent as to need no further comment. 

There is a further factor entering into the 
use of the hand camera, but this has to do with 
mechanical rather than with mental considera- 
tions. It is not easy to carry a large camera 
when traveling or to set it up when a chance 
impression offers itself, and in such cases the 
hand camera will prove exceedingly useful. It 
is all very well for the followers of the con- 
templative method to say that they do not care 
to make use of chance impressions, but it is 
nevertheless the case that fortune at times 
offers magnificent opportunities which unless 
seized on the instant are gone forever. One of 
the author's best negatives, a picture which is 
very successful from the dramatic and pictorial 
standpoint, was secured from the deck of a 
ferryboat, and includes a sea gull flying at high 
speed across the field of view. It would have 
been utterly out of the question to operate a 
view camera rapidly enough to secure this pic- 
ture; indeed, it could not have been got even 
with a hand camera had it not been that the 



writer was considering photographing the scene 
when the bird appeared, and was able to \ 
the trigger at precisely the right instant. Of 
course, it was pure chance that afforded this 
picture ; it was one of the perfect arrangements 
of viewpoint, atmosphere, sea and sky — not to 
mention the gull — that could happen but once 
in a lifetime, but the picture is none the less a 
success. In " Micah Clarke/' Decimus Saxon 
describes a duel in which a young and inexperi- 
enced swordsman smote his expert opponent 
across the face with his rapier, which unusual 
act so took the latter aback that ere he recov- 
ered from his astonishment the youngster 
killed him. " Doubtless," says Saxon, " if the 
matter were to do again the Oberhaupt matin 
would have got his thrust in sooner, but, as it 
was, no explanation or excuse could get over 
the fact that the man was dead." In like man- 
ner, no argument on the part of the deliberate 
workers can get over the fact that here is a 
picture, and that it could have been obtained 
in no other way. 

The advantages of the hand camera for rec- 
ord work when traveling are so obvious as to 
need no enumeration, and the argument ad- 



vanced by the workers of the view camera class, 
as to the greater number of adjustments pos- 
sessed by their instruments, is not, in the 
writer's opinion, fully substantiated in practice. 
The author has used a four by five reflecting 
camera for several years, for landscape, por- 
traiture and illustration, and has not found 
himself seriously hampered by the lack of a 
swing-back. There have, it is true, been times 
when it would have proved a convenience, but 
this adjustment is by no means so necessary on 
a small camera as on a large one, and it has 
always been possible to do without it, with no 
loss of pictorial quality. 

It may, however, be of interest to inquire 
into the relative expense of the two methods 
of working, and the writer does not find that 
there is a great deal of difference in this re- 
spect. The user of an 8X10 camera will gen- 
erally make at least two exposures on a given 
subject, and so far as plates are concerned seven 
or eight 4X5 negatives can be made for the 
same cost. When it comes to printing, three or 
four platinum prints — often more — will be 
made from the 8X10 plate, which will about 
offset the cost of eight 4X5 gas-light prints and 



one 11X14 or 14X17 bromide or bromoil. 1 1 
the large print is to be in oil or platinum or 
gum, the expense will be greater, since in that 
case there will also be required a 4X5 transpar- 
ency and a large negative, but if bromide or 
bromoil is used there is little choice. There is 
little difference in the time consumed by the 
two methods, the consideration and reflection 
of the first type of worker being about on a par 
with that given by the second to selecting from 
among his proofs and to possible modifications. 
If the latter prints in bromide he probably has 
some slight advantage over the other in the mat- 
ter of time, but if he prefers gum, oil or bromoil, 
the choice lies somewhat the other way. How- 
ever, the difference is in no case great, and 
should not influence anyone to adopt a form of 
expression not suited to his inclinations. 

As to the artistic quality of the results, then 
is absolutely no choice whatever between the 
two modes of approaching the problem, this 
depending entirely on the artist's imaginative 
power, technical skill, sensitiveness and artis- 
tic conscientiousness, though it may be said 
that the photographer of the second class is 



generally more prolific than the other. It is 
doubtful, though, if the manner of working has 
anything to do with this ; it probably arises from 
the fact that the nervous, highly sensitized indi- 
vidual is more prolific of ideas and has more 
driving force than the more reflective type. In 
each case there is a danger to be guarded 
against. The first worker is apt to become nig- 
gling, meticulous and over-interested in mere 
aestheticism ; the second runs the risk of grow- 
ing careless in his artistic grammar, of paying 
too little attention to values and gradations, and 
relying too much on the inherent force of his 
ideas. The writer has seen many promising 
workers brought to grief by one or the other 
of these two pitfalls, so that they failed to fulfil 
the hopes they once held out, and he would 
suggest that each photographer strive to culti- 
vate an admiration for the style in which he 
does not work. By this means he will not only 
retain the purity of his artistic conscientious- 
ness and avoid becoming a mere stylist, but he 
will also attain that broadminded and liberal 
vision without which no man can achieve true 
greatness in any branch of human activity. 




The author has many times, both orally and 
in his writings, said that it is possible for a 
photographer to become interested in mere 
technique to the detriment of his artistic expres- 
sion, and in the present book will be found a 
statement by Mr. Wentworth to the effect that 
" of technic enough is better than more.'' But 
this question deserves some further considera- 
tion. It is doubtful if any artist can ever have 
enough technical knowledge; problems are con- 
stantly arising which demand acquaintance 
with various processes other than the accus- 
tomed ones, and the worker of limited knowl- 
edge must leave such problems unsolved or be 
only partly successful in their treatment. Fur- 
ther, it is by no means certain that the skilful 
technician could, had he chosen the other path, 
have become a great artist. Some psycholo- 
gists insist that each mind has its own definite 
inherent capabilities, and can find its fullest 



development only along the lines so indicated. 
The author does not share this belief, but ad- 
mits that arguments may be advanced in sup- 
port of it. At all events, it is certain that the 
worker who devotes his entire attention to b 
nical processes must necessarily ignore the 
studies requisite to full artistic expression, and 
that each photographer must determine for 
himself where lies the balance. 

It is a common — almost a universal— error 
to suppose that knowledge can be taught. No 
person living can teach another anything what- 
ever; all knowledge, wisdom and skill must 
come through a voluntary effort on the part of 
the student. The most that the teacher can 
do is to stimulate, to suggest, and to point out 
errors, and this is most conspicuously the case 
where the faculties of reason and imagination 
are called upon to function. The teacher can 
make statements to be memorized by the stu- 
dent (even here the latter must exert himself) 
but when it becomes necessary for the student 
to employ his logical powers or his imagination, 
to develop his powers of observation, or to ac- 
quire manipulative skill, he must travel alone. 

20 305 


Further, artistic perception, appreciation 
and expression are not definite things; they 
depend to a great extent on personal taste and 
preference, on individual likes and dislikes, 
and on the general mental development not 
only of the artist but of those to whom he ap- 
peals. Technique is a matter of pure science* 
we can say: " If we do thus and so, such and 
such results will follow," and we may he sure 
that these results will always and inevitably 
be the consequence of the original act Noth- 
ing of the kind is possible in art; manifold ef- 
fects may follow from one and the same cause, 
for no two human minds are precisely alike, 
and the most that the artist can say is: k This 
work will have a certain effect on those minds 
which resemble my own sufficiently to receive 
from external objects the same impressions 
that I do, or impressions similar to Dime." 

For these reasons the author has made no 
attempt to follow the lines of his farmer hook, 
"Pictorial Photography, Its Principles and 
Practice." He lias not ende a vored to give def- 
inite instructions for the production of definite 
results, as was possible in the earlier work ; such 



From a Carbon Print 


an attempt would have been foredoomed to 
failure, or at best could have been productive 
only of a stereotyped, machine-made and ster- 
ile expression among those photographers who 
followed the instructions given. Instead of 
giving such instruction the author has chosen 
rather to state the fundamental principles upon 
which all graphic art is based, and has consis- 
tently endeavored to stimulate his readers to 
the exercise and development of their own men- 
tal powers, to the end that, whatever work 
shall be theirs, it may be a free and spontaneous 
expression of the love of beauty which, though 
at times dormant, is none the less inherent in 
every individual; of the desire to awaken in 
others this love; and of the greatest motive 
which can animate the human soul, a deep and 
sincere wish to be of benefit to one's fellowmen. 
Those readers who look to find here a formula 
for the production of works of art will be disap- 
pointed, but the author hopes and believes that 
anyone approaching this book in the spirit in 
which it is written will find it helpful, and will 
be encouraged and aided in his efforts to con- 
tribute some share, whether great or small, to 



the eternal and inevitable upward march and 

growth of life. 

The one fundamental and unfailing law upon 
which the life of this world (and probably that 
of other worlds as well) is based is that of 
progress; an individual, a nation, a race, a spe- 
cies which does not contribute to this progress 
is unhesitatingly eliminated by the forces «.r 
nature, and only those which have some contri- 
bution to offer are preserved. We observe this 
fact not only in the historical records which we 
have, but we find it manifested also in the case 
of prehistoric species and genera, so that we 
are forced to conclude the law to be everywhere 
and at all times operative. From this con- 
clusion follow two others of importance to the 
artist: The first is that he may never relax his 
efforts, may never feel that his knowledge is 
sufficient, under pain of retr og r a ding in his 
powers of vision and of expression; be must 
always work, and must always endeavor to im- 
prove, in order to maintain his position and his 
ability — whoso docs not advance falls back. 

The other inference is greater than this, and has 

to do with the artist's responsibility. The desire 



for artistic expression is one of the earli* 4 
sires to awaken as a race develops beyond th<- 
daily needs of food and shelter, and the artist 
stands side by side with the scientist in guiding, 
directing and stimulating his fellows in their 
voyage from darkness into light. 

Indeed, it is probable that art comes before 
science, and it is known that Palaeolithic men 
have felt the desire for graphic expression, 
drawings — and by no means discreditable ones 
— being found among the relics of races which 
existed twenty thousand years ago, and ante- 
dating (being, in fact, the precursors of) the 
hieroglyphics which are the earliest form of 
writing. These Palaeolithic and Neolithic men 
were not only draughtsmen, but were sculptors 
as well, and some of their figures are suffi- 
ciently well done to indicate a higher stage of 
mental development in their makers than does 
the Cubist sculpture of the present day, which, 
indeed, may possibly represent a reversion to 
a pithecoid mentality, if we employ such a 
phrase. It follows, then, that a tremendous 
responsibility devolves upon the artist, who, 
so far from being, as many people seem to 



think, a mere parasite, an aniuser, is actually a 
leader of thought and a teacher of mankind. 
Art is not a study to be undertaken lightly, 
nor is it a work to be followed " in jesting 

It is, however, a mistake to say, as some do, 
that the artist should be indifferent to money 
and to fame ; it is right that one who gives us 
something of value, whether material or psy- 
chic, should receive a suitable return, and the 
desire for the applause of one's fellows is l 
normal human instinct. Of course, the artist 
may become excessively greedy of financial re- 
ward or of renown, but this danger is common 
to all men, and must be guarded against by a 
proper mental balance. Further, it is not nec- 
essary that the worker devote his entire time to 
art. It is desirable that he do so if possible, ind 
the so doing will self-evidently result in a 
greater development of his powers; but if the 
exigencies of his daily life prevent, and he still 
wishes to do what he can in the time al hand, 
this also is well, for many a man who was n 
restricted has nevertheless made valuable con- 
tributions to the sum of human knowledge. 



But whether art be a vocation or an avocation, 
a life-work or a relaxation from daily labor, it 
should be undertaken soberly, seriously, and 
with the determination that we will do this 
thing as well as in us lies, for only thus can we 
deserve well of our fellows. The artist who 
stoops to do meretricious work because he is 
well paid, the one who lightly accepts the easy 
beauty because the greater thing is difficult — 
these men are to be pitied, for they have indeed 
sold their souls for a few pieces of silver or, 
worse yet, for their personal ease. Only that 
man is truly fortunate who gives his best at 
all times, who unceasingly labors for the finest 
that he can see or dream. He may miss the 
financial reward or the praise of the multitude, 
but he will nevertheless be firm in the con- 
sciousness that he has used his talents well, and 
will come to the realization that he has, in some 
measure, worked hand in hand with the eternal 
forces that govern and control all life, not only 
for the passing day but forever. 


Accessories in portraiture, 257 
Aerial perspective, 120 
Analytic composition, 38 
Appreciation of art, educa- 
tion required, 26 
Art, definition, 15 
Artificial light, in illustration, 
in portraiture, 254 
Atmosphere, 120, 139, 246, 283 

Backgrounds in portraiture, 

257, 270 
Balance, 50 

by motion, 56 
Breadth of handling, 66 
Brigman, Anne W., 106, 154 

Caricature, basis of, 69, 236 
Collier, Catherine, 54, 283 
Color, importance in pho- 
tography, 115 

in portraiture, 243 

in summer, 115, 117 

in winter, 132, 140 

sensuous appeal, 244 
Contrast, 80 
" Croquemitaine," 95 
Cubists, 21 

Da Vinci, Leonardo, 287 
Definition, 98 

Defoe, Daniel, 97, 146 

Detail, 65 

Donatello, 16 

Dugmore, A. Radclyffe, 179 

Du Maurier, George, 150 

Emotions expressible by pho- 
tography, 24, 95 

Entrance and exit of pic- 
tures, 69 

Estheticism, 37 
insufficiency of, 18, 105 

Eugene, Frank, 288 

Fine arts, definition, 15 
status of photography 
among, 20, 93 
Form, intellectual appeal of, 
21, 244 
association with various 
emotions, 110 

Gainsborough, 288 
Gilpin, Laura, 82, 279, 983 

Hals, Frans, 179 
Height of camera in archi- 
tecture, 186 

in portraiture 971 
Hill, D. O., 950, 988 
Hiller, Lejaren a, 81, 166, 172, 

979, 983 
Hogarth, "Line of Beauty," M 



Horizon, low vt. high, 112, 187 Nast, Thomas, 107 

Hurter and Driffield curve, 

195, 198 
Hutchinson, Eugene, 255, 288 
Hybrid printing mediums, 31 

Illusion of reality, 98 
Imagination, 36, 241 
Inspirational photography, 103 
Intellectual appeal in art, 21 
Interpretive photography, 101 

Kasebier, Gertrude, 106, 154, 
283, 288 

Key, 83 
In landscape, 110, 114 
in portraiture, 251, 280 
in winter scenes, 127, 131 

Leading line, 53 
Lens, type, 114, 123, 148, 185. 
209, 234, 262 

focal length, 123, 184, 209 
Llne.effects of different types, 

"Line of Beauty," 63 
Llteralness of photography, 

167, 242, 246 
"Lost and found" outline, 285 

Macnaughtan, W. E., 106 
Malory, Sir Thomas, 146 
Mark Twain, 159 
Meissonier, 155 
Michelangelo, 16 
Millet, J. F., 161 
Modification of photographs, 
20, 29, SO, 242, 963 

Xon-huliitiou j.latr, I.'.', 187 
Nude, Hi. 117 

Orthochromatic plate, 120, 132, 

188, 209 
Outdoor portraiture, 250, 259 

Panchromatic plate, 120. 1 1 '.', 
133, 187, 243, 254, 262 

Panoramic camera, 279 

Pennell, Joseph, Lfl 

Peter the Great, 92 

Pin-hole, 188 

Poe, Edgar Allan, 108 

Poore, Henry R., 54, 278 

Posing, 268, 270, 272 
of hands, 274 

Poster effects, 135 

Post-Impressionists, 157, 160 

Printing mediums, 30, 134, 191, 
192, 1 10. Mflk 260, 301 

Racial memories, 83, 94 
Raeburn, 288 
Raemakcrs, Louis, 107 
Ray-filter, 120, 132, 188, 209, 

Record photography, 101 
Reflecting camera, 124, 208, 

Rembrandt, 244, 280, 288, 297 
Repetition, 67 
Repin, Ilya, 160 
Retouching, 261 
Reynolds, Sir Joshua, 288 
Ruskin, John, 138, 246 



Sargent, John S., 288 
Seeley, George H., 135 
Sensuous appeal in art, 21, 244 
Size of print, 99 
Shakespeare, 26, 108, 145 
Shaw, George Bernard, 125, 

Snow, esthetic value of, 86 
Spencer, Herbert, 63 
Status of photography among 

fine arts, 20, 23 
Straight photography, 18, 20, 

Struss, Karl, 67, 172 
Suggestion vt. delineation, 149 
Synthetic composition, 38 

Turner, J. M. W., 119 

Unity, 144, 162 

Velasquez, 179, 244, 288, 297 

Whistler, J. M., 148, 199, 284, 

White, Clarence H., 165, 172, 

283, 288 
White, Edward Lucas, 145 



TR Anderson, Paul Lewis 

Gk2 The fine art of photography